NC Native Plant Society:
Plant Details

Castanea dentata

American Chestnut

Scientific Name:

Castanea dentata



Species Epithet:


Common Name:

American Chestnut

Plant Type


Life Cycle


Plant Family

Fagaceae (Beech Family)


NC Native

Invasive Status:



6-12 ft., 12-36 ft.

Bloom Color(s):

White, Yellow, Green


Sun - 6 or more hours of sun per day, Part Shade - 2 to 6 hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Dry, Moist

Bloom Time:

June, July

Growing Area:

Mountains, Piedmont, Coastal Plain

Habitat Description:

Mesic and xeric forests. Common in NC mountains and western piedmont; very rare in coastal plain.
Weakley (2015):“Formerly one of the most important, largest, and most abundant forest trees in the Mountains of our area, C. dentata was severely affected by chestnut blight, Cryphonectria parasitica (Murrill) Barr, introduced at New York City in 1904 on nursery stock of C. mollissima [Chinese Chestnut]. Blight spread steadily southward, reaching our area in the 1920’s and 1930’s. C. dentata remains rather abundant, but now occurs only as stump sprouts and small trees, usually reinfected by blight persisting on oaks and killed at about the size of first fruit production. The accidental introduction of chestnut blight and the subsequent profound alteration of the role of chestnut is one of the most tragic ecological disasters to have affected our area.”

Leaf Arrangement:


Leaf Retention:


Leaf Type:

Leaves veined, not needle-like or scale-like

Leaf Form:


Life Cycle:


Wildlife Value:

Highest Wildlife Value

Landscape Value:

Not Assigned

State Rank:

S4: Apparently secure (*Key)

Global Rank:

G4 - Apparently Secure (*Key)


Chinese Chestnut (Castanea mollissima) has been hybridized with American Chestnut in an effort to restore American Chestnut by creating blight resistance.

Strongly and evenly toothed margins along the entire length of the leaves

North Carolina mountains

Bettina Darveaux

Flowering in July

North Carolina mountains

Bettina Darveaux


USDA PLANTS Database Record

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