Herb: Chinknut


Latin name: Castanea x neglecta


Family: Fagaceae (Beech Family)



Edible parts of Chinknut:

Seed - raw or cooked. Eaten raw, there is a distinct astringency, especially if the fleshy inner skin beneath the outer shell of the seed is not removed. When cooked, however, and especially when baked, the seed becomes much sweeter and has a floury texture. It then makes an excellent food and can be used as a staple food in much the same way as potatoes or cereals. The seed is quite small, though it is larger than C. pumila. Another report says that only one large seed is formed in each seed case.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Shrub

Height:
4 m
(13 feet)

Flovering:
July

Habitat of the herb:

A natural hybrid, C. dentata x C. pumila, found on well-drained soils.

Other uses of Chinknut:

The bark, leaves, wood and seed husks all contain tannin. Wood - coarse-grained, hard, strong, light, durable, easy to split.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - where possible sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame or in a seed bed outdoors. The seed must be protected from mice and squirrels. The seed has a short viability and must not be allowed to become dry. It can be stored in a cool place, such as the salad compartment of a fridge, for a few months if it is kept moist, but check regularly for signs of germination. The seed should germinate in late winter or early spring. If sown in an outdoor seedbed, the plants can be left in situ for 1 - 2 years before planting them out in their permanent positions. If grown in pots, the plants can be put out into their permanent positions in the summer or autumn, making sure to give them some protection from the cold in their first winter. This species is a natural hybrid and might not breed true from seed. Division of suckers in winter. They can be planted straight out into their permanent positions.

Cultivation of Chinknut:

A natural hybrid, C. dentata x C. pumila, found on well-drained soils.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Castanea x neglecta:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.