Chestnut

Chestnut  (Castanea vulgaris ), is a fine tree that may reach a large size, and has deeply furrowed bark and large, glossy, serrate but simple leaves in tufts, which turn yellow in autumn. Its flowers are in long pendulous catkins. The dark brown nuts are surmounted by the remains of the perianth, being “inferior” fruits. In a wild state two or three kernels or seeds, separated by a membrane, are contained in each nut; but the Lyons marron, the most valued cultivated race, contains only one. The tree is native from Portugal to the Caspian and in Algeria, and is represented by allied forms in Japan and temperate North America, flourishing in the Alps and Pyrenees at 2,500 to 2,800 feet above sea-level. Its timber resembles oak, but is softer and more brittle.