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Chinkapin (Castanopsis)

  • Fruits are triangular nuts borne inside sharp, spiny burrs.
  • Leaves are simple, alternate, and deciduous, with smooth edges. Leaves on native trees are shiny green above and have golden hairs or scaliness below.
  • Buds are clustered on ends of twigs like oaks.
  • Twigs have star-shaped piths


Chinkapin is an evolutionary link between the oaks and chestnuts. Chinkapin fruits closely resemble those of chestnuts. They are triangular nuts borne inside sharp, spiny burrs. Their twigs resemble those of oaks - with clustered buds and star-shaped piths. Only one species of chinkapin is native to North America. It is called the golden chinkapin and it occurs in Oregon.


For more information on the cherries and plums native to the Pacific Northwest, go to the species page or see "Trees to Know in Oregon".

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