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Castanea seguinii - Chinese Chinquapin

Range:E. Asia - E. and C. China.
Castanea seguinii (Chinese Chinquapin) is a Tree which grows to a height of 10m . It has a moderate growth rate. It has a hardness rating of 6.
Chinese Chinquapin will flower in January. the seeds ripen from April
The flowers from this plant are monoecious (both sexes are found on the plant but each flower is either male or female) and they are pollinated by Insects

Soil Information

Chinese Chinquapin will grow in light (sandy),medium (loamy),hard (clay) soil. It is / is important for the soil to be well drained.
The soil prefers the following PH / acid levels :
- pH of less than 6, Acidic soils
- pH between 6 and 8, Neutral soils
Chinese Chinquapin prefers either dry or moist soils

Ideal Planting Locations

Chinese Chinquapin should not be planted in shady areas.

Thickets in eastern and central China[11].

Planting places suited to this plant described below.

Cultivation Details

Prefers a good well-drained slightly acid loam but succeeds in dry soils[1, 11, 200]. Once established, it is very drought tolerant[1, 11, 200]. Very tolerant of highly acid, infertile dry sands[200]. Averse to calcareous soils but succeeds on harder limestones[11, 200]. This species can vary in size from a shrub 4 metres tall to, rarely, a tree 12 metres tall[266]. It is allied to the dwarf N. American species C. pumila[11], but unlike that species it has 3 seeds per bur[183]. Valued in breeding programmes because of its dwarf stature and heavy bearing at an early age[183]. Sometimes cultivated for its edible seed in China[266]. Although it is winter-hardy in most of Britain, this species only really thrives in areas with hot summers[200]. An excellent soil-enriching understorey in pine forests[200]. Flowers are produced on wood of the current year's growth[229]. Plants are fairly self-sterile[200]. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus[200]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].

Edible Uses*

* See disclaimer
Edible Rating: 3/5
Seed - raw or cooked[105, 177]. Small, but a good flavour[61, 183]. Eaten raw, there is a distinct astringency, especially if the fleshy inner skin beneath the outer shell of the seed is not removed[K]. When cooked, however, and especially when baked, the seed becomes much sweeter and has a floury texture[K]. It then makes an excellent food and can be used as a staple food in much the same way as potatoes or cereals[K].

Medicinal Uses*

* See disclaimer
Medicinal Rating: 0/5
None known


Seed - where possible sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame or in a seed bed outdoors[78]. 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[K].

Known Hazards

None known

Other Uses

The bark, leaves, wood and seed husks all contain tannin. Wood - hard, strong, light. Used for fence posts etc.


no recorded cultivars


Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Bean. W.
Author: Bean. W.
Publisher : A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
Date of Publication : 1981

The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Huxley. A.
Author: Huxley. A.
Publisher : Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
Date of Publication : 1992

Flora of China

Publisher : On-line version of the Flora - an excellent resource giving basic info on habitat and some uses.
Date of Publication : 1994

DISCLAIMER: All information published on is for entertainment purposes only. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information contained here with other sources. The information is not intended to replace medical advice offered by doctors or dietary advice by dieticians. will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other damages arising therefrom.