Index of Species Information
SPECIES: Castanea pumila
SPECIES: Castanea pumila
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION:
Sullivan, Janet. 1994. Castanea pumila. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online].
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station,
Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available:
On 2 March 2018, the common name of this species was changed in FEIS
from: Allegheny chinkapin
to: chinquapin. Images were also added.
For Castanea pumila var. ozarkensis:
Castanea alabamensis Ashe 
Castanea ozarkensis Ashe
Castanea ozarkensis var. arkansana Ashe 
For Castanea pumila var. pumila:
Castanea alnifolia Nutt.
Castanea alnifolia var. floridana Sarg. 
Castanea ashei Sudw. [8,16]
Castanea floridana (Sarg.) Ashe 
Castanea pumila var. ashei Sudw. [13,22]
NRCS PLANT CODE:
The scientific name of chinquapin is Castanea pumila (L.) Mill.
(Fagaceae) [4,8,16]. Varieties are [10,13,34]:
Castanea pumila var. ozarkensis (Ashe) Tucker, Ozark chinquapin
Castanea pumila var. pumila, chinquapin, typical variety
Chinquapin and American chestnut (Castanea dentata) hybridize,
forming C. x neglecta Dode .
FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS:
No special status
DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE
SPECIES: Castanea pumila
The range of chinquapin extends from New Jersey and
Pennsylvania south to Florida and west to eastern Texas, eastern
Oklahoma, and southern Ohio [4,16]. Ozark chinquapin is limited to the
Ozark highlands of Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, and has been
extirpated from most of Alabama by chestnut blight .
|Overall distribution of chinquapin (top), and distributions of the typical variety (bottom left) and Ozark chinquapin (bottom right). Maps courtesy of USDA, NRCS. 2018. The PLANTS Database.
National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC  [2018, March 2].
FRES12 Longleaf - slash pine
FRES13 Loblolly - shortleaf pine
FRES14 Oak - pine
FRES15 Oak - hickory
AL AR DE GA FL KY LA MD MS MO
NJ NC OH OK PA SC TN TX VA WV
BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS:
KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS:
K100 Oak - hickory forest
K104 Appalachian oak forest
K111 Oak - hickory - pine forest
K112 Southern mixed forest
K115 Sand pine scrub
SAF COVER TYPES:
43 Bear oak
52 White oak - black oak - northern red oak
69 Sand pine
70 Longleaf pine
71 Longleaf pine - scrub oak
72 Southern scrub oak
75 Shortleaf pine
80 Loblolly pine - shortleaf pine
81 Loblolly pine
82 Loblolly pine - hardwood
83 Longleaf pine - slash pine
84 Slash pine
SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES:
HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES:
Chinquapin is locally abundant as a low, clonal shrub on
longleaf pine (Pinus palustris)-scrub oak (Quercus spp.) sand ridges and
hills that are burned frequently, and in open stands of planted pine on
ridges and hills. It is less frequent in sand pine (P. clausa)-oak
scrub . Ozark chinquapin is often associated with chinquapin oak
(Quercus muehlenbergii) in white oak (Q. alba)-black oak (Q.
velutina)-northern red oak (Q. rubra) cover types .
SPECIES: Castanea pumila
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE:
Chinquapin wood is light, hard, close-grained, and durable. It
is used largely for fenceposts and fuel. It is not exploited for
commercial timber because of its small stature and scattered occurrence
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE:
Chinquapin nuts are excellent wildlife food and are consumed by
squirrels, chipmunks, opossums, white-tailed deer, bluejays, pileated
woodpeckers , red-headed woodpeckers , and many other birds
[4,31]. Chinquapin is usually not a primary wildlife food due
to its scattered occurrence . It is, however, listed as an
important species in the diet of southeastern fox squirrels (including
five subspecies) . White-tailed deer browse the foliage of
In North Carolina, chinquapin had a high utilization rate (81%
browsed) by white-tailed deer, even though it occurred in relatively low
Chestnut (Castanea spp.) meats were reported to contain 2.9 percent
protein (fresh weight), 41 percent N-free extract, and 1.1 percent crude
VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES:
Chinquapin (cultivar 'golden') has good potential for use in
revegetation of disturbed sites, particularly because of its wildlife
value and adaptability to harsh sites [9,10]. It is likely that many
planners hesitate to use it because of the threat of chestnut blight
OTHER USES AND VALUES:
Chinquapin nuts are sweet and palatable, considered better
tasting than those of American chestnut (Castanea dentata), and have
been bartered and sold commercially . Chinquapin may be of
value for breeding blight-resistant chestnuts with good-tasting nuts .
OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS:
Chinquapin has been variously reported as very susceptible to
chestnut blight , moderately resistant to chestnut blight , and
almost completely resistant to chestnut blight . The disease has
been blamed for the extirpation of chinquapin from most of
Alabama, and as having severely reduced populations in the Ozarks. It
is considered a threat to chinquapin in Texas . Campbell
and others  placed chinquapin on a list of species which are
rare in Appalachian Kentucky, because there are fewer than 10 records of
chinquapin for the region. They speculated that chinquapin has decreased
in abundance because of fire suppression and
chestnut blight . Roedner and others  included Ozark chinquapin
in a checklist of rare plants of the Ozark Plateau, Missouri, and
reported it as endangered due to chestnut blight. It has been
considered for inclusion in the Federal Register .
Chinquapin is a host to oak wilt .
In central Louisiana, an all-aged loblolly pine (Pinus taeda)-shortleaf
pine (P. echinata) stand was selectively harvested in 1958 for pines,
and in 1959 and early 1960 for hardwoods. The stand had not
experienced any fires since the early 1940's. Chinquapin was
listed with a group of species whose importance value increased after
overstory removal, from 1960 to 1970 .
Chinquapin is listed as susceptible to the following
herbicides: 2,4,5-T, bromacil, dicamba, picloram, and silvex. It may
resprout after herbicide treatment .
BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS
SPECIES: Castanea pumila
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS:
Chinquapin is a native, deciduous, rhizomatous large shrub or
small tree . Mature heights range from 6 to 65 feet (2-20 m)
[4,7,8,32,35]. The bark of trunks is smooth with shallow furrows .
The stems of young shoots are pubescent to densely tomentose. The
flowers are axillary catkins . The involucre is a spiny bur 1 to 1.4
inches (2.5-3.5 cm) long, containing a nut which is 0.28 to 0.8 inch
(7-20 mm) long .
|Chinquapin flowers (left) and fruits (right). Creative Commons images by John Ruter, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org.
RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM:
Chinquapin reproduces readily from seed. It is monoecious,
self-incompatible, and wind pollinated [8,10]. Chinquapin
cultivar 'golden' seedlings may produce nuts as early as the second or
third growing season. Nut crops are not large until the fourth or fifth
year. Six-year-old plants produced 1,200 to 1,500 nuts per plant.
Seeds planted in the fall show good germination (> 90%); seeds stored
over the winter tend to dry out and germinate at much reduced rates
(< 50%) .
Chinquapin sprouts vigorously from the stump after top-kill
. It spreads from the rhizomes, forming thickets or colonies .
Chanquapin occurs in xeric to mesic, thin or open mixed woods
on dry, rocky, sandy, or loamy soils . It is typically found on
well-drained stream terraces, dry pinelands and sandhills, and disturbed
sites such as railroad rights-of-way, powerline clearings, fence and
hedgerows, pine plantations, and old fields [4,8,10,35]. Ozark
chinquapin is typically found on dry uplands in deciduous or mixed
woodlands, but also on cliff margins, talus slopes, and rocky ridges.
Chinquapin grows well on almost all soil textures except heavy
clay soils .
Chinquapin ranges in elevation from sea level to about 4,455
(1350 m) in the southern Appalachians .
Chinquapin is not highly shade tolerant, and occurs in open
woods and disturbed areas . It is not competitive where overstory
trees begin to form a closed canopy; it is easily replaced by more
shade-tolerant species . In Florida, it is a member of the
mid-successional pine (Pinus spp.)-oak (Quercus spp.)-hickory (Carya
spp.) type. It is also a member of communities that remain seral
because of disturbances such as fire .
Chinquapin flowers from April to July, depending on latitude
. The ripened nuts are available from September through November .
SPECIES: Castanea pumila
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS:
Chinquapin forms extensive clones where it has been burned over
annually or at short intervals. It occurs in burned-over longleaf
pine-oak scrub and sand pine-oak scrub, and other disturbed sites .
Fire benefits chinquapin by removing or reducing shade-tolerant
competitors and opening the overstory .
The bear oak (Quercus ilicifolia) type is a disturbance maintained type
in which chinquapin is listed as an associate. It is
restricted to poor, dry sites which have been disturbed in the recent
past mainly by heavy cutting, fire, or both. It is favored by
disturbance at frequent but not necessarily regular intervals .
Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this
species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under
"Find Fire Regimes".
POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY:
Rhizomatous shrub, rhizome in soil
Secondary colonizer - off-site seed
SPECIES: Castanea pumila
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT:
Chinquapin is probably easily top-killed by most fires.
Chinquapin was a member of the understory of a cut-over
pine-hardwood stand that was prescribed burned to control hardwoods.
While no specific figures on chinquapin mortality were given,
the author stated that two fires top-killed 90 percent of the hardwood
stems under 1 inch (2.54 cm) in diameter, and set back hardwood
succession. Larger stems (1 to 5 inches in diameter [2.54-12 cm])
experienced much lower mortality: 27 to 36 percent top-kill .
PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE:
Chinquapin sprouts vigorously following top-kill by fire .
FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS:
SPECIES: Castanea pumila
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