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Castanea sativa (Chestnut)

Gender

Castanea

Family

Fagaceae

General Description

Deciduous tree height 20-25 m. Bark: brown color at the beginning, later formed light brown colored dry bark with longitudinal slots.

Sheets

Alternately, two-row length 12 to 20 cm. and width 3-6 cm. They are narrow ovate to lance-like, sharp peaks-based wedge. Upper surface: dark green naked. Bottom: with a lighter color on top hairy, later naked. Edge: strongly serrated. Pairs nerve 15-20.

Flowers

Unisexual. It is a plant that in the same individual has male and female flowers. Inflorescences spikes-forms, length 12-20 cm. Flowering: mid-May to mid-July.

Fruit

Nuts shiny brown, with leathery shell, pointed, edible, every 2-3 in a woody cup. The cup is covered by dense thorns and opens after curing into 4 irregular leaflets. Maturing : in October during the flowering period. The size of chestnuts has to do with moisture, variety and soil composition.

Biological requirements

Loose soils, rich in clay, humus and phosphorus acidic as neutral. It is a type semi-shade tree and sensitive at late and early frosts.

Geographical spread

The natural geographical spread because of the expansion of human, is not yet known. Today occur in southern Europe, Caucasus, Asia and North Africa. In Greece: the mountains almost throughout the country. The chestnut tree is very old as evidenced by several findings of the Bronze Age. It was the food of the poor in the Middle Ages.

Uses

For the harvest of the cast that is obtained by shaking the fruit of the tree and then becomes picking by hand. Some pave nets for easier picking. Fresh chestnuts contain 50% water, 45% carbohydrates and 5% vegetable oil. Eaten grilled or boiled. It is used in confectionery, cooking in various recipes. These are flour, mainly in various parts of Asia.

Information

Athanasiadis, N., Forest botany II: Trees and shrubs of forests in Greece, S. Giachoudis & SIA O.E., 1986.

Distribution at the region
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