Genus: Castanea (chestnuts)
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Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants)
> Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants)
> Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering
plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids >
Eurosid I > Order: Fagales > Family: Fagaceae
Eight species, native to the temperate regions of the
Northern Hemisphere. Three species are cultivated in southern Africa including
the the Sweet chestnut Castanea sativa.
Species cultivated in southern Africa
List from Glen (2002).
Castanea crenata (Japanese
Native to China and Japan.
Castanea dentata (American
Native to eastern USA.
Castanea sativa (Sweet chestnut)
The indigenous distribution of Sweet chestnut extends from
the Mediterranean to the Caucasus. It was introduced to Great Britain by the
Romans. Chestnut cultivation has involved selecting plants with large, tasty
nuts and growing them clonally. The most common use of chestnuts is to roast
them whole and then peel and eat them while they are still warm. Before
roasting, it is important to cut an "x" into the flat side of the nuts to stop
them from exploding.
- Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of
Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.