Golden Chinquapin (Chrysolepis chrysophylla)

Castanea chrysophylla. Castanopsis chrysophylla.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Golden Chinquapin
Chrysolepis chrysophylla

Wood – fine-grained, light, soft, not strong. Occasionally used for making ploughs and other agricultural implements, and also as a fuel[46, 61, 82, 229].

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Seed – raw or cooked[22, 46]. Very sweet and much appreciated[63, 71, 82, 105, 183]. The seed can also be dried, ground into a powder and used as a thickening in soups, mixed with cereals when making bread etc[257]. The seed is about 1cm long and has a hard shell[183].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe, the seed must be protected from mice etc[200]. The seed has a short viability and should not be allowed to dry out. If stored overwinter it should be kept cool and moist. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and consider giving them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors.
Requires a lime-free soil[1]. Prefers a sheltered semi-shaded position and a light deep moist soil[1, 11]. A very ornamental tree[183], it is slow to moderate growing and can live 400 – 500 years in the wild[229]. One report says that this species only succeeds in Oceanic and Mediterranean climates[200]. This species has a very wide natural range in N. America, seeds should be tried from various provenances to find more suitable selections for Britain[11]. Another report says that the plant is only found in a small area of California and Oregon, but that it grows on a wide range of soil types[229]. There are trees 16 metres tall in Surrey and Buckinghamshire[11], it also fruits in Cornwall[59] and fruits well in addition to self-sowing at Edinburgh botanical gardens[11]. Flowers are produced on the current years growth, the seed taking two summers to mature[229]. The catkins have an unpleasant hawthorn-like smell to attract midges for their pollination[245]. This species resists chestnut blight[200].
South-western N. America – Washington to Oregon and California.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.