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Rush Chinquapin Castanea pumila 'Rush'

Phonetic Spelling
kas-TAY-nee-uh POO-mil-ah
Description

Rush chinquapin is a monoecious, multi-stemmed, deciduous, small tree or a large shrub that matures at about 25 feet high. It is often found in southeastern North America, although not common in North Carolina, on dry sandy ridges and rich hillsides where it forms thickets, in woods, or the borders of swamps. It is an edible plant and a good wood source for fuel. It is not frost tender, is moderately resistant to chestnut blight and drought, and tolerates heat and fire. Although it is winter hardy, this plant thrives in areas with hot summers. Rush chinquapin can spread widely by means of underground suckers and the nuts produced by the plant can be messy.

The Rush chinquapin prefers dry or moist well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil including acid and neutral soils. It will grow in partial sun, but prefers full sun and does not do well in the shade.

Chinkapin nuts are palatable to humans as well as wildlife. They have a sweet flavor and are eaten by many birds and mammals. The cultivar, ‘Rush’ has been developed specifically as a nut crop.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

Chinkapin is moderately resistant to chestnut blight, but fewer trees are reported each year due to the inhibitory effects of the fungus.

More information on Castanea pumila.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#small tree#fragrant flowers#shrub#edible nuts#deciduous tree
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#small tree#fragrant flowers#shrub#edible nuts#deciduous tree
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Castanea
    Species:
    pumila
    Family:
    Fagaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Wood is light, hard, close-grained, and strong. It is used for fence posts and fuel.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Larval host for butterflies. This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer. Its nuts are eaten by woodpeckers, bluejays, small mammals, wild turkeys, black bears, and white-tailed deer.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Edibility:
    Nuts can be eaten, raw or cooked.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 13 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Ascending
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The small-sized fruit is covered with sharp spines, matured in early September and occurs in clusters. Each bur in the cluster contains one brown nut. It has a sweet and nutty flavor.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The flowers bloom in late spring. Male flower is pale yellow, 4 to 6 inches long and female flower is much smaller, about 1/8 inch long. Flowers are produced on the current year's growth.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Rush chinquapin features alternate, simple, elongated green leaves with coarse teeth at the margin. Lanceolate shaped with pinnate vein, the leaves are similar, but smaller, than those on the American chestnut. The leaves are bright yellow-green n the top and silvery tomentose (covered with densely matted woolly hairs) on the lower surface.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Surface/Attachment:
    Furrowed
    Scaly
    Bark Description:
    The bark is light brown tinged with red, slightly furrowed and broken into loose plate-like scales.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Bud Scales:
    Enclosed in more than 2 scales
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Twigs are densely hairy (tomentose) when young, becoming shiny brown with densely reddish-hairy buds with 2-3 overlapping scales.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Edible Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Shade Tree
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Heat
    Problems:
    Messy