Balanoplis serrata Raf.
Castanea fauriei H.Lév. & Vaniot
Castanopsis thunbergii (Makino) Hatus.
Lithocarpus cuspidatus (Thunb.) Nakai
Lithocarpus sieboldii Nakai
Pasania cuspidata (Thunb.) Oerst.
Pasania sieboldii pusilla (Blume) Makino
Pasania sieboldii rotundifolia (Makino) Makino
Pasaniopsis cuspidata (Thunb.) Kudô
Pasaniopsis sieboldii pusilla (Blume) Makino
Pasaniopsis sieboldii rotundifolia (Makino) Makino
Quercus cuspidata Thunb.
Shiia cuspidata (Thunb.) Makino
Shiia cuspidata muratae Yanagita
Synaedrys cuspidata (Thunb.) Koidz.
Common Name: Japanese Chinquapin
Castanopsis cuspidata is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 25 metres tall. The straight, cylindrical bole can be 60 - 70cm in diameter.
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, and probably also for its wood. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental, where it can also be used to provide shade and shelter[
Castanopsis cuspidata is widespread and a late successional tree often forming part of the climax vegetation in laurel forests. In some areas of Japan the species is showing an increase in range while in others its habitat, and thus the species range, is experiencing decline as a result of human exploitation. The scale of this threat is not known at present but it is not expected to cause decline in the habitat to the extent that the species would fall into a
threatened category in the next 100 years. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2018)[
E. Asia - central and southern Japan, Korea.
Woods and ravines, especially near the sea in western China[
]. Temperate, broad-leaved evergreen forests, also found in disturbed, primary and secondary forests and often co-dominant to dominant in laurel forests[
|Other Uses Rating
Castanopsis species are generally found in subtropical and tropical climates, those species that can tolerate colder winters generally also require hot summers. Thus hardy members of this genus tend to grow well in Mediterranean climates and in warm continental climates with mild winters - although frost tolerant, they often do not thrive in more maritime climates with their cooler summers, even if the winters are mild. This species is possibly the hardiest member of the genus and can tolerate occasional temperatures falling to around -15°c when dormant.
Prefers a good deep medium to stiff loam[
]. Requires a sheltered position in semi-shade and a lime-free soil[
The catkins have an unpleasant hawthorn-like smell to attract midges for their pollination[
The seeds take two growing seasons to reach maturity[
Seed - cooked[
]. The cotyledon of the nut is eaten boiled or roasted[
This species can be used for revegetation of native woodlands[
The wood can be used for making charcoal and for pulp[
We have no further specific information on the properties of this wood, but the following is a general description of the wood of Castanopsis species:-
The heartwood is a light yellowish brown, grayish brown, or dark brown, varying with species; it is sometimes sharply demarcated from the yellowish, light brown sapwood. The texture is mostly rather coarse; the grain is fairly straight to interlocked; may be lustrous when first cut; there is no distinctive odour or taste when dry. It is generally reported to season well, timbers tend to end split if the pith is boxed. It is mostly reported as being easy to work and saw; takes a good finish; easy to split. It is not very durable, being susceptible to attack by decay fungi and termites. It is used for general construction work under cover, furniture components; some species that are easy to split are used for shingles[
Seed - requires a period of cold stratification and is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[
]. The seed has a short viability and should not be allowed to dry out. It can be stored for a few months if kept cool and moist (putting it in a plastic bag that is placed in the salad compartment of a fridge works well). Stored seed should be soaked in warm water for 24 - 48 hours prior to sowing[
]. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 3 months at 15°c[
]. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots and plant them out in mid summer if possible, otherwise grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring. Give the young plants some protection from cold for their first few winters outdoors.