Chestnuts - Knowledgebase Question

Dunedin, FL
Question by tomlilf
January 5, 1998
What is the difference between edible and non-edible chestnuts and how do I tell the difference?


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Answer from NGA
January 5, 1998

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The edible chestnuts include the American chestnut (Castanea dentata, the one devastated by Chestnut blight), the Chinese chestnut (C. mollissima) and the Japanese chestnut (C. crenata). There is also the Spanish chestnut (C. sativa).

The chestnut commonly grown in Florida is the Chinese variety. There is a large grower near Gainsville who
grows the Chinese variety. I have a friend who has a few trees here in the Jacksonville area; they are beautiful trees.

There is also a tree called Horse Chestnut which is grown mainly as a street tree because of its dense shade. Its botanical name is Aesculus hippocastanum and is related to the buckeye. Horse Chestnuts and buckeyes are inedible.

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