Sweet chestnut

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Sweet chestnut
Sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa)

Sweet chestnut ( Castanea sativa )

Eurosiden I
Order : Beech-like (Fagales)
Family : Beech family (Fagaceae)
Subfamily : Quercoideae
Genre : Chestnuts ( Castanea )
Type : Sweet chestnut
Scientific name
Castanea sativa
Illustration of Castanea sativa

The sweet chestnut ( Castanea sativa ), also known as the sweet chestnut , is the only European representative of the chestnut genus ( Castanea ) from the beech family (Fagaceae). The chestnut is a deciduous tree and is rich in starch Nuts . In southern and western Europe it is grown for these edible fruits and as a supplier of wood. In the 20th century, the numbers fell sharply due to the chestnut crayfish infestation , but recovered again at the end of the 20th century. The sweet chestnut was voted tree of the year 2018.

On the one hand, the fruits are referred to with the umbrella term chestnuts , with dialectal variants such as Keschde in the Palatinate and Keschtn in South Tyrol . Secondly, they are as chestnuts known by the variants Maroni in Austria and chestnuts in Switzerland. From the Middle Ages to the end of the 19th century, the sweet chestnut was the main food of the rural population in the mountainous regions of southern Europe. B. Wheat is. The horse chestnuts, which are widely planted in Europe, are neither related to the sweet chestnut nor suitable for consumption, despite many similarities.


Habit and age

Trunk and bark of an old tree with an adult as a size comparison

Sweet chestnuts rarely grow shrub-like . They are on average 20 to 25 meters high, the maximum height is 35 meters. The trunk circumference is usually one to two meters, but can reach four meters in very old trees, and in extreme cases even six meters. The trunk is mostly straight and strong, branching often begins at a low height, with few strong branches being formed. The crown is broad and rounded in shape. Trees over 100 years old often become hollow.

Sweet chestnuts reach an age of 500 to 600 years. In Central Europe they hardly get over 200 years old, in Western Europe they can get up to 1000 years old. The largest known tree is the Castagno dei Cento Cavalli ( chestnut tree of the hundred horses ) in Sicily , which is estimated to be at least 2000 years old.


The root system of the sweet chestnuts is very strong. They form a taproot that does not penetrate very deeply into the ground. There are relatively few side roots, but they are intensely branched and open up the soil well vertically and horizontally. In their first year, seedlings form a taproot up to 40 centimeters long, followed by the lateral roots in the second and third year.

Wood and bark

The young twigs are light red-brown in color. They have a number of round to elliptical, whitish lenticels . The bark of young shoots is covered by a frost layer that usually disappears later. The leaf scars stand out on the branches as slightly raised triangles with three groups of vascular bundle traces . In the center of the branches there is a pith , which is pentagonal, less often triangular, in cross section.

Young branches have a smooth, reddish brown bark with elongated, transverse lenticels. Even with young trunks it is still smooth, but silvery-gray. With age it turns grayish brown and tears open. A thick bark with wide stripes forms, which usually run in a spiral around the twisted trunk. It is almost always a left-hand spiral. With a tannin content of four to twelve percent of the dry weight, the bark is very rich in tannins .

The wood of the sweet chestnut is ring-pored and of medium weight. It has a bulk density (at 15 percent moisture) of 0.63 grams per cubic centimeter. The sapwood is narrow and whitish yellow. It is clearly delineated from the brown heartwood . The annual rings are clearly visible. Rays are numerous, evenly structured, one or two rows and are 15 to 30 rows high. The wood has a high tannin content of up to 13 percent of the dry weight.

Buds and leaves

The winter buds are eight to ten millimeters long, slightly compressed and reddish. They have two to three bud scales. The buds stand individually at the shoot tips or as side buds in a spiral arrangement (like the leaves later). The branching of the sweet chestnut takes place sympodially : the terminal buds die in autumn, the next lower side bud takes over the growth of the shoot in spring.

The leaves appear to be arranged in two lines due to the rotation of their petioles. The leaves shoot from late April to early May. The initially slightly hairy leaves quickly become bald. The length of the leaves is 12 to 20 centimeters, the width three to six centimeters, the petiole measures 1.5 to 2.5 centimeters. The two linear, 1.5 to two centimeters long stipules fall off early. The leaf shape is elliptical to lanceolate, the tip of the leaf is pointed, the base of the leaf is rounded to wedge-shaped. The leaf margin is serrated to notched, the teeth end in a small, forward-facing point. The leaves are somewhat leathery, the upper side is shiny, deep green and bare, the underside is lighter, here the 12 to 20 pairs of wires stand out clearly. The autumn color is yellow-brown, brown just before falling off.

Inflorescences and flowers

Male inflorescence in anthesis

The sweet chestnuts begin to bloom at the age of 20 to 30. The flowers appear in June / July. They are single sexed ( monoecious ), their male and female organs are in separate flowers , but on one plant. The flowers are in 20 to 25 centimeters long, yellow, kitten-like inflorescences.

The purely male inflorescences are at the base of young shoots. They consist of around 40 head-like partial inflorescences, which are arranged on the long, movable inflorescence axis. Each partial inflorescence in turn consists of seven individual flowers. The bisexual inflorescences have axillary cymes at the base . Each Zyme contains three female flowers, which together are surrounded by a scaly sheath. The upper partial inflorescences are male and each have two flowers. These bisexual inflorescences are always on this year's shoots and consist of one to four female and 15 to 20 male partial inflorescences.

Each flower is hermaphroditic in its disposition, but only one gender develops at a time. The male flowers have a six-fold inflorescence ( perigone ) and eight to twelve stamens. The abundant pollen produced has an intense odor due to the formation of trimethylamine . The female flowers also have a six-fold, hairy perigon. The ovary is subordinate and consists of six (to eight) carpels , which form as many compartments, with a strong column (columella) in the center. It also bears six (rarely four to nine) rigid, hairy styles at the base . Each fan has two central angular ovules . Only one ovule per ovary develops into a seed.

Chromosome number

The number of chromosomes is 2n = 24.


Fruit cluster of the sweet chestnut in summer
Opened cupula with fruits
Hairy tip of the nut with the scarred branches

The fruits are shiny, dark brown nuts . The fruits of a partial inflorescence are surrounded by a spiky fruit cup (cupula) that develops from the scaly sheath. The spines are initially green and yellow-brown when ripe. In the wild form, the fruit cup has a diameter of five to six centimeters, in cultivated forms it can be up to ten centimeters. When fully ripe, the fruit cup opens with four flaps and releases the one to three fruits. With some varieties, the fruit cup and the nuts it contains fall off.

The pericarp of the fruit is leathery, smooth and evenly brown and striped. At the base of the fruit there is a whitish umbilical spot (chalaza), the separation point where the fruit separates from the cupula. It corresponds to a cross-section through the strongly thickened, strongly shortened flower stalk. The vascular bundle ring can be seen with the naked eye. The vascular bundles can often be recognized as longitudinal ribs on the pericarp. The end of the fruit is pointed and consists of the tepals and the lignified stigma. Inside the pericarp is a hairy endocarp . The partitions of the ovary have dissolved, the columella is pushed aside by the seed. The seed has a membranous, tannic shell . The inside of the seed is completely occupied by the embryo , which consists mainly of two large cotyledons . The radicle is located near the tip of the fruit. The surface of the embryo is more or less smooth or furrowed. As a result, the seed coat partially extends into the interior of the embryo and is then difficult to remove.

The spread of "Plump fruit" is done by squirrels , dormice , crows and jays . The animals hide food supplies in the ground, forgotten fruits then germinate in spring. Trees germinated from seeds bear fruit for the first time at around 25 to 35 years of age.

Ingredients Fruits, per 100 g edible part
ingredient unit fresh dried
water G 50-63 11
Strength G 23-27 41.7
Sugar ( esp . Suc ) G 3.6-5.8 16.1
Dietary fiber G 8.2-8.4 13.8
Proteins G 2.5-5.7 6.0
fat G 1.0-2.2 3.4
Vitamin A mg 12 k. A.
Vitamin B1 mg 0.1-0.2 0.2
Vitamin B2 mg 0.2-0.3 0.4
vitamin C mg 6-23 k. A.
niacin mg 1.1 2.1
potassium mg 395-707 738
phosphorus mg 70 131
magnesium mg 31-65 k. A.
sulfur mg 48 126
Calcium mg 18-38 56

The nuts have a high content of the carbohydrates starch and sucrose . The high sugar content combined with the high water content of fresh fruits makes them perishable. The high carbohydrate content distinguishes chestnuts from most other nuts, which mainly contain fats . The protein content is free from prolamin and glutenin , so chestnut flour can only be baked in combination with other flour. The content of amino acids essential for humans is high. The protein content is higher than in potatoes , but lower than in cereals . The fat content is low, but has a high proportion of linoleic and linolenic acid (550–718 milligrams of linoleic acid and 78–92 milligrams of linolenic acid per 100 grams of fresh weight). The potassium content is high, the sodium content very low (9 milligrams per 100 grams of fresh mass). There are only two vitamins of the B group in large quantities: riboflavin (B2) and nicotinic acid (B3), which are also temperature-stable.

Flower ecology

The sweet chestnut flowers relatively late, in June after the leaves have formed. The plants are proterandric , the male flowers open up to seven or ten days before the female, depending on the variety. The unisexual kittens bloom before the hermaphrodite - a phenomenon called duodichogamy. A tree produces pollen for around a month.

The type of pollination is controversial in the literature. Some authors describe the sweet chestnut as wind-pollinated , others as insect-pollinated , and still others mention both types of pollination. The formation of nectar , sticky pollen, stiff but soft stamens, and the strong odor of the kittens correspond to an adaptation to insect pollination. In addition to bees, 134 other insect species from six orders , mainly beetles , were observed. However, insects almost exclusively visit male flowers. Wind pollination can take place over distances of 20, even 100 kilometers, but the pollen density is only reasonably sufficient within 20 to 30 meters.

According to M. Conedera , the sweet chestnut is in a transition stage from insect to wind pollination. Insect pollination takes place mainly in damp weather, the pollen is then stickier.

The chestnut is self-incompatible , a plant can not pollinate itself, it is cross-pollination necessary. Many cultivated varieties, however, are male-sterile, they do not produce any functional pollen. In this case, pollen-donating trees of other varieties must be planted in the plantations at regular intervals.


Since the sweet chestnut has been cultivated in the entire Mediterranean area as well as in the areas adjacent to the north since ancient times , its natural range cannot be precisely determined. Bottacci (2006) takes the Pyrenees and the southern edge of the Alps as the northern limit of the natural range , as well as the mountains of Bosnia, the Rhodope and the Caucasus . It also occurs in Asia Minor , in northern Syria and on the northern slopes of the Atlas Mountains . The altitude limit is 1000 m in the Alps and the Apennines , 1500 m in Sardinia and Sicily, 1600 m in Spain and up to 1800 m in the Caucasus.

There are large-scale plantings in large parts of France (especially in the Ardèche , Cevennes and Périgord regions ), in the south of England and Ireland, and from the Hungarian lowlands to the Black Sea, for example in the area south of the Danube. Isolated plantations and stands can be found north of the Alps as far as Germany and southern Scandinavia. North of the 48th to the 50th  degree of latitude , the fruits ripen regularly, here the sweet chestnut is planted as a timber supplier and as a park tree.

In the eastern distribution area there are three regions, each with a uniform gene pool:

  • Northeast Turkey (this area may have been the refuge of the species during the last Ice Age)
  • Greece
  • turkish mediterranean coast

The underlying genetic studies support earlier assumptions that all European populations (with the exception of Greece) were established with plants from Asia Minor in the last 2000 years or so.

In Switzerland, the focus is on Ticino . It also occurs in the Jura , around Lake Geneva , in the Valais , on Lake Lucerne and Lake Zug . In Austria it is widespread in the hill country of southern Styria and the neighboring Burgenland . In Germany the main deposits are in the Palatinate , Nahe , Saar and Moselle . In addition, it is also quite common in the Upper Rhine Plain , in the western Black Forest , in the Odenwald , on the Lower Main and in the Taunus .

On the southern side of the Alps in South Tyrol , at altitudes between 700 and 900 m, the sweet chestnut plays an important tourist role in regional direct marketing.

Locations and socialization

The sweet chestnut prefers temperate-humid, oceanic climatic conditions and acidic soils. It loves warmth and is a submontane- Mediterranean tree species. The annual mean temperature should be between 8 and 15 ° C in warm autumns and over + 10 ° C for at least six months. It is very sensitive to late frosts. For a good development it needs a heat sum of the daily mean values ​​of 3600 degree days.

With regard to the required rainfall, the sweet chestnut is considered to be mesophilic: it develops well with rainfall between 600 and 1600 mm per year. It does not tolerate a rainy flowering season in June. It does not thrive in drought-prone locations, in areas with pronounced summer drought, or on waterlogged soil. The sweet chestnut is a species of light tree and becomes even more in need of light with increasing geographical latitude.

The best soil for the sweet chestnut is fresh, loose and deep with a high potassium and phosphorus content. It can thrive on older, deep limestone soils with enough available potassium and phosphorus and a lime content below 20%, otherwise it avoids lime. It does not thrive on heavy, clayey soils. Phosphorus-rich volcanic soils are very suitable.

The sweet chestnut occurs in societies of the Querco-Fagetea class , especially in Betulo-Quercetum from the Quercion roboris association and in societies of the Luzulo-Fagenion sub -association .

Diseases and pests

Late chestnut moth (
Cydia splendana )

The two main diseases were caused by fungi. The chestnut crab ( Cryphonectria parasitica ) was introduced from America in 1938 and in the following decades destroyed large parts of the chestnut stocks, especially in southern Europe. Biological control with hypovirulent strains means that the sweet chestnut is no longer threatened and is beginning to recover in many areas.

The ink disease, triggered by the Phytophthora species Phytophthora cambivora and Phytophthora cinnamomi , attacks trees preferentially on more humid soils. The mycelium penetrates the roots and leads to leaf wilt, a lack of fruit formation and even death of the crown. Often black exudates are formed at the base of the trunk, which led to the name of the disease.

The other diseases are of much less importance. The leaves are attacked by the fungus Mycosphaerella maculiformis , the fruits by Rhacodiella castaneae , Phoma endogena , Botrytis cinerea , Fusarium roseum and Penicillium expansum . The chestnut mosaic virus (ChMV) has appeared since the 1950s and can lead to leaf necrosis, especially in summer. The sweet chestnut is relatively less susceptible, however.

Of the insects that feed on the sweet chestnut, the chestnut borer ( Curculio elephas ) has the greatest economic importance. It eats the inside of the fruit, as well as earlier ( Pammene fasciana ) and later chestnut moth ( Cydia splendana ), as well as unequal wood burs ( Xyleborus dispar ). The chestnut gall wasp has also been found in Europe since 2002 .


The sweet chestnut is placed within the genus chestnut ( Castanea ) in the section Eucastanon , which is characterized by three fruits per cupula . This section also includes the other two species used as nuts, the Chinese chestnut ( Castanea mollissima ) and the Japanese chestnut ( Castanea crenata ).

The horse chestnuts ( Aesculus ) belong to the soap tree family and are not related to the chestnuts, the same name is based on the superficial similarity of their fruits to the fruit cluster of the chestnuts ( brown core in a prickly shell ).


Cultivation forms

The sweet chestnut is grown in different forms:

  • The high forest is the extensive form of management. It usually arises from seeds and often forms a closed crown layer.
  • A selve is a high - trunk plantation consisting of grafted trees. Here the trees have a short trunk and a large crown, the main branches are low on the trunk. The main product is the fruit. The densities are often 80 to 100 trees per hectare. In modern plantations, the trees are relatively low. In traditional cattle trees, as in Ticino and Corsica , there are tall trees between which the cattle are grazed.
  • Niederwald is in Umtrieb managed by 15 to 30 years, in France to 40 years. The Niederwaldwirtschaft was traditionally connected with the viticulture, the chestnut wood was processed into barrel staves and sticks.

Harvest quantities

The 2018 world harvest of chestnuts was 2.4 million tons, of which, however, only a part was accounted for by the sweet chestnut. In East Asia and Portugal , the Chinese ( Castanea mollissima ) and Japanese ( Castanea crenata ) chestnuts are predominantly grown.

The following table gives an overview of the five largest producers of chestnuts worldwide, who produced 94.3% of the harvest. The largest producers in Europe were Italy, Greece and Portugal.

Largest chestnut producers (2018)
rank country Quantity
(in t )
1 China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China 1,965,351
2 BoliviaBolivia Bolivia 84.010
3 TurkeyTurkey Turkey 63,580
4th Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea 53,384
5 ItalyItaly Italy 53,280
world 2,353,825

In Europe, in addition to the sweet chestnut, hybrids of this and Japanese chestnut are also grown. These are more resistant to chestnut crayfish, but more sensitive to late frosts due to their earlier budding.


There are several hundred varieties that are usually only grown on a small scale and are often adapted to the local climate. Over 700 varieties are registered in France alone. The variety is propagated mainly vegetatively by grafting it onto rootstocks .


The word chestnuts is not used consistently. It is often used to simply refer to particularly large fruits. In France, marron is defined for fruits on which no seed skin has grown and less than 12 percent of the nuts are split, i.e. when the seed skin individually surrounds the two cotyledons . In Italy, on the other hand, marroni is used to denote large varieties of excellent quality, elongated in shape, and reddish, shiny skin with thick stripes and a small scar. They are sweet, not split and not hollow, and easy to peel. In addition, chestnuts usually only form one, rarely two fruits per fruit cup, which makes them rounder. Most chestnuts are male sterile.


Fresh chestnuts perish easily and must be pretreated for storage. A traditional method, which is only used in Turkey today, is "Ricciaia", in which the chestnuts are piled up in the fruit cups, fermented here and thus kept for a few months. Today hydrotherapy is widely used in industry: the fruits are placed in cold water for a few days, the lactic acid fermentation preserves the chestnuts, and then they are dried. Further preservation methods are drying, refrigerated storage, fumigation with methyl bromide , storage in a carbon dioxide atmosphere and deep-freezing and smoking.



Chestnut wood
Traditional chestnut furniture in Haute-Vienne

The wood of the sweet chestnut has a warm, golden brown tone. Compared to oak, there are no pith rays, so the grain is not as strong. It is easy to work with and largely weatherproof and rot-resistant outdoors, even without chemical treatment. Since the grain is mostly straight, it can be bent relatively easily. It accepts polish, stain, varnish, and paint well.

Wood from high forest trees is processed into furniture and window and door frames, but also into telegraph poles and the like. Smaller woods from the coppice are used to make garden fences, willow posts, wine and liqueur barrels. In the past, the production of charcoal and its use as firewood was also of great importance. The wood is also used for railway sleepers, ceiling and roof beams and in slope and avalanche structures as well as in shipbuilding.

The bark was used for leather tanning in the past.


Chestnuts as a delicacy
Chestnut seller on the island of Mallorca
Offer of a Viennese chestnut roaster, in addition to chestnuts also fried potatoes and potato pancakes

Chestnuts have a wide range of uses. Peeled chestnuts and chestnuts as well as chestnut puree are produced as semi-finished products ; they are further processed before they reach the end consumer. The range of ready-made products is much larger: whole peeled chestnuts are mainly used in France for cooking in the home, they are often used as a side dish. Chestnuts can also be in water, dry or vacuum-packed, frozen or pickled in sugar syrup. Large chestnuts (55 to 65 pieces per kg) are candied, that is, slowly cooked in sugar syrup. Among other things, they serve as the basis for the production of Marrons Glacés , glazed chestnuts. Other products include chestnuts in alcohol, chestnut cream , flour and flakes. Flour is made from dried and peeled chestnuts and is usually ground several times. In the past it was very common and a staple food in many areas. Today it is processed into gnocchi , pasta , bread , polenta and pastries. Flakes are used in breakfast cereals. In France and Italy, chestnuts are used to make liqueur, while Corsica and Switzerland make beer.

Vermicelles with vanilla ice cream

Chestnuts are gluten-free , so the flour can be used by celiac patients as a grain substitute. Chestnuts are cooked or roasted as a side dish or as a salad ingredient. They are served with chicken , turkey , pork , goose and hare as a side dish or are also used for stuffing. As a sweet, chestnuts are processed into the aforementioned marrons glacés, vermicelles , mousse , soufflé , cream and ice cream . Traditional desserts include castagnacci (chestnut bread ), necci (pancakes), pudding, and ballotte (chestnuts cooked in fennel water). Roasted chestnuts, which are also sold outside the growing areas in winter, are widespread. Chestnuts have a delicately sweet, nutty and slightly floury taste.

In Burgenland , the Cabinets , as is the chestnut in the local dialect, the traditional foods counted. The Cistercians , who are considered to be the cultivators of the region, planted chestnuts. Numerous cultures existed under Hungarian rule before 1918.

Further products

Chestnut honey is amber in color or even darker and aromatic. In traditionally managed forests, various mushrooms can be harvested, which represent additional income for the chestnut farmers. A small part of the leaves is used for the production of aftershave lotions and for dyeing fabrics. New research reports prove that it is effective even against MRSA bacteria .

It is traditional to fatten pigs with chestnuts, especially in Spain, southern Italy and Corsica. Ham and salami are mainly made from their meat. Traditionally, the fallen leaves were used as litter as well as fertilizer or bedding in stables. The leaves are also used in folk medicine for coughs, wound treatment and diarrhea.


Sweet chestnut with stick rash

The sweet chestnut has enlarged and reduced its area several times during the last ice ages. In the Caucasian-Armenian area it was already eaten and the wood processed in prehistoric times. Cultivation as a fruit tree is likely to have taken place between the 9th and 7th centuries BC. In the area between the Caspian and Black Seas. From here it spread quickly to Asia Minor , Greece and the Balkans.

In ancient Greece , the sweet chestnut was widely cultivated; in Sparta, for example, it was used to make black bread, flour and soups. Chestnuts are mentioned in the works of Isaiah , Homer , Xenophon and Hippocrates . Greeks and Phoenicians traded the fruit all over the Mediterranean. The sweet chestnut was planted in Greater Greece ( Magna Graecia ), especially in Calabria .

The Romans spread the sweet chestnut throughout the Roman Empire as far as Britain , in addition to chestnuts and wood, honey and bark, leaves and flowers were used as medicine. Many writers dealt with the sweet chestnut from various angles, such as Pliny the Elder , Columella , Virgil , Ovid and Dioscurides . Augustus ' cook Apicius handed down cooking recipes. In general, sweet chestnuts were held in high regard.

In the early Middle Ages , the sweet chestnut was an important food crop in southern Europe. The Longobard King Rothari listed them in his list of protected trees in 641; at the end of the 8th century, Charlemagne ordered them to be cultivated on the royal estate in the Capitulare de villis . In the 10th century the castagnatores were a peasant form of their own. Monasteries had sweet chestnuts planted in many low mountain ranges. At the time, however, chestnuts were just one of many staple foods. They were fresh and dried, raw or cooked, roasted or eaten as flour. In mountain areas it was an important source of carbohydrates, especially in winter. In the 11th to 13th centuries, due to the population growth, chestnut cultivation intensified in areas where no grain could be grown. Chestnuts increasingly became the bread of the poor. The most important method of preservation at that time was drying, sometimes by smoking. The flour could be kept for one to two years. In the 12th century, the word Marroni came up in Lombardy, which was used to describe chestnuts of the best quality, large, sweet, tasty and easy to peel.

Towards the end of the Middle Ages, chestnuts were associated with poor digestion, headaches, gas, and increased sex drive. Hence they were viewed as food for the working population and for fattening, rather than food for the higher classes.

From the 16th to the 18th century, the cultivation of sweet chestnuts continued to increase. The centers were the mountains of the Iberian Peninsula , central and southern France, Corsica, central and northern Italy, Ticino and the Balkans. Regardless of the country in question, the chestnut cultures, which Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie Internationale called poverty and the chestnut , were similar . In many cases, the chestnut was practically the only source of food in these areas. Depending on the region, one or two trees were estimated for the year-round nutrition of an adult.

A decline in the chestnut culture began in the 19th century with industrialization and the beginning of rural exodus , in the second half of the century the ink sickness hit the stocks. On the other hand, exports to the United States and Central and Northern Europe increased. This could not stop the widespread decline of the chestnut forests, which were also affected by deforestation and the tanning industry. In Italy the area under cultivation fell from 650,000 hectares in 1911 to around 250,000 in the 1980s. Another factor behind the decline was chestnut crayfish, which killed large parts of the sweet chestnut stocks. Since the mid- 1990s  , the surviving populations have been recovering due to the appearance of hypovirulence and the area under cultivation is immediately growing again.

Sources for medical use

Historical illustrations

Common names

For the sweet chestnut, there are also the other German-speaking trivial names , sometimes only regionally : Castane ( Middle High German ), Castanien (Middle High German), Castanen, Castanien (Middle High German), Chestenbom (Middle High German), Chestinna ( Old High German ), Kesten ( southern Germany , Middle High German), Kestenbaum (Southern Germany, Middle High German), Kestenenbaum ( Switzerland ), Kestenenboum (Switzerland), Kestenne (Late Old High German), Kestenzbom ( Middle Low German ), Kesteza ( Lucerne , Schaffhausen ), Kestina (Old High German), Kestinneboum (Old High German), Kestnitz (Middle High German), Kestnitz (Middle High German), Kestnitz (Middle High German) Transylvania ), Köstenbaum, Marren, Marronen, Macronen, Maronen, Marrons and Questenboum (Middle High German).


Hermann Hesse's story Narcissus and Goldmund begins with the presentation of a sweet chestnut standing in front of the monastery entrance of Mariabronn as an isolated son of the south, brought with him by a pilgrim to Rome and a tender-minded and slightly shivering guest ..., loved by the Welschen and Latins, gazed at by the locals as a stranger , also striking the arriving young Goldmund as: A beautiful, strange tree! And when Goldmund returned to Mariabronn as a mature man and artist at the end of Chapter 17, he greeted the tree tenderly - probably as an expression of kinship. This indicates a parallel between Goldmund and the sweet chestnut: Both are strangers in the cold world (of the north and rationality and asceticism); Loved by some, but strange - because unknown - to most.

There is a chestnut educational trail in Klingenberg am Main .

supporting documents

The article is based on the following documents, among others:

  • M. Adua: The Sweet Chestnut throughout History from the Miocene to the third Millennium. In: G. Salesses: Proceedings of the Second International Chestnut Congress. Acta Horticulturae, Volume 494, 1999, pp. 29-35, ISBN 90-6605-941-9 , (history).
  • Alessandro Bottacci: Castanea sativa. In: Schütt, Weisgerber, Schuck, Lang, Stimm, Roloff: Encyclopedia of the deciduous trees. Nikol, Hamburg 2006, pp. 185–193, ISBN 978-3-937872-39-1 , (characteristics, locations, distribution).
  • G. Bounous, DT Marinoni: Chestnut: Botany, Horticulture, and Utilization. Horticultural Reviews, Volume 31, John Wiley & Sons 2005, pp. 291-347, ISBN 0-471-66694-7 , (flower ecology, processing).
  • Wilhelm Troll: Practical introduction to plant morphology. Second part: the blooming plant, VEB Gustav Fischer Verlag, Jena 1957, pp. 169–171, (without ISBN) (fruits).


  • Claude Brioude: Chestnut - The uncrowned queen of the kitchen. Verlag 99pages, Hamburg 2013, ISBN 978-3-942518-13-0 .
  • Stephan Hahn: The chestnuts. Food source and threatened natural resource. A contribution to the knowledge of biodiversity. Books on Demand, 2004, ISBN 978-3-8334-2192-1 .
  • Hannes Mayer : The forests of Corsica. Walks through a forest paradise. 2nd revised edition. Fischer, Stuttgart a. a. 1990, ISBN 3-437-30624-3 .
  • Franz Schmidt: The chaste fruit. ChestnutsStories and ChestnutRecipes. Höma, Offenbach 2003, ISBN 978-3-937329-02-4 .
  • Peter Strallhofer (eds.), Josef Klement, Thomas Rühmer, Helmut Ecker, Markus Klug, Johannes Schantl: Sweet chestnut - forest tree and fruit trees. Varieties, cultivation, care, plant protection, processing. Zoppelberg, Ehrenhausen 2006, ISBN 978-3-9502349-0-9 .

Web links

Commons : Sweet Chestnut  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Palatinate Chestnut Trail
  2. South Tyrolean Chestnut Trail
  3. a b c d e f g h Stephan Hahn: The chestnuts. Food source and threatened natural resource. Book on Demand GmbH, Norderstedt 2004, pp. 133-250, ISBN 3-8224-2194-4 .
  4. Schauer / Caspari: The great FSVO plant guide. Munich, Vienna Zurich 1984, p. 324.
  5. a b Erich Oberdorfer : Plant-sociological excursion flora for Germany and neighboring areas . 8th edition. Verlag Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-8001-3131-5 . Page 316.
  6. Doris Laudert: Myth Tree. History, customs. 40 portraits. blv, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-405-16640-3 , p. 87.
  7. ^ A b c Marco Conedera, Mauro Jermini, Alberto Sassella, Thomas N. Sieber: Harvesting, treating and preserving chestnut fruits. Leaflet for practice 38, 2004. WSL Birmensdorf, ISSN  1422-2876 (PDF; 570 kB)
  8. a b c d e f g h Giancarlo Bounous: The Chestnut: A Multipurpose Resource for the New Millennium. In: CG Abreu, E. Rosa, AA Monteiro: Proceedings of the Third International Chestnut Congress. Acta Horticulturae, Volume 693, 2005, pp. 33-40, ISSN  0567-7572 .
  9. Marco Conedera: Blossom phenology and biology of the sweet chestnut. In: Swiss phenological circular. No. 7, 2007, pp. 3-4. (PDF; 96 kB) ( Memento from August 7, 2010 in the Internet Archive ).
  10. ^ G. Eriksson: Management of Genetic Resources of the Multi-Purpose Tree Species Castanea sativa Mill. In: CG Abreu, E. Rosa, AA Monteiro: Proceedings of the Third International Chestnut Congress. Acta Horticulturae, Volume 693, 2005, pp. 373-386, ISSN  0567-7572 .
  11. The section is based on: Henri Breisch: Châtaignes et marrons. Center technique interprofessionnel des fruits et légumes, Paris 1995, chapter 6, ISBN 2-87911-050-5 ; Alessandro Bottacci: Castanea sativa. In: Schütt, Weisgerber, Schuck, Lang, Stimm, Roloff: Encyclopedia of the deciduous trees. Nikol, Hamburg 2006, p. 191, ISBN 978-3-937872-39-1 .
  12. EPPO : Data sheets on quarantine pests: Dryocosmus kuriphilus . Bulletin OEPP / EPPO Bulletin, Volume 35, pp. 422–424 (PDF; 59 kB)  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.eppo.int  
  13. ^ Henri Breisch: Châtaignes et marrons. Center technique interprofessionnel des fruits et légumes, Paris 1995, p. 29, ISBN 2-87911-050-5 .
  14. ^ F. Giudici: Research Activities on Chestnut: Recommendations for Terminology and Measurement Standards. In: CG Abreu, E. Rosa, AA Monteiro: Proceedings of the Third International Chestnut Congress. Acta Horticulturae, Volume 693, 2005, pp. 117-130, ISSN  0567-7572 .
  15. a b c Crops> Chestnut. In: FAO production statistics for 2018. fao.org, accessed on February 29, 2020 .
  16. ^ Henri Breisch: Châtaignes et marrons. Center technique interprofessionnel des fruits et légumes, Paris 1995, p. 12, ISBN 2-87911-050-5 .
  17. ^ Henri Breisch: Châtaignes et marrons. Center technique interprofessionnel des fruits et légumes, Paris 1995, chapter 4, ISBN 2-87911-050-5 .
  18. Andrew Duncan, Gwen Rigby: The amateur carpenter - technology of wood processing. German edition in collaboration with the master school Ebern for the carpenter's trade, Orbis Verlag, Munich 1984, ISBN 3-572-00763-1 , p. 200.
  19. ^ Elvio Bellini: The Chestnut and Its Resources: Images and Considerations. In: CG Abreu, E. Rosa, AA Monteiro: Proceedings of the Third International Chestnut Congress. Acta Horticulturae, Volume 693, 2005, pp. 85-92, ISSN  0567-7572 .
  20. ^ N. Braden, K. Russell: Chestnut in the United Kingdom: Forest Area, Management and Utilization as Timber . Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, Volume 76, 2001, pp. 505-510, ISSN  1424-5108 .
  21. Central Burgenland Kaesten and Nuss . Entry No. 115 in the register of traditional foods of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Regions and Tourism . Retrieved February 15, 2013
  22. CL Quave, JT Lyles et al. a .: Castanea sativa (European Chestnut) Leaf Extracts Rich in Ursene and Oleanene Derivatives Block Staphylococcus aureus Virulence and Pathogenesis without Detectable Resistance. In: PLOS ONE . 11 (9): e0163655, doi : 10.1371 / journal.pone.0136486 .
  23. Pedanios Dioscurides . 1st century: De Medicinali Materia libri quinque. Translation. Julius Berendes . Pedanius Dioscurides' medicine theory in 5 books. Enke, Stuttgart 1902, p. (Book I, Chapter 145) (digitized version)
  24. Pliny the Elder , 1st century: Naturalis historia Book XVII, Chapter XXXIV (§ 147-150): Castanea (digitized version ) ; Translation Külb 1855 (digitized version )
  25. Avicenna , 11th century: Canon of Medicine . Translation and adaptation by Gerhard von Cremona , Arnaldus de Villanova and Andrea Alpago (1450–1521). Basel 1556, Volume II, Chapter 286: Glans therein Castanea is mentioned (digitized version)
  26. ^ Pseudo-Serapion 13th century, print. Venice 1497, sheet 112v (No XCVIII): Glans et castanea (digitized version )
  27. Abu Muhammad ibn al-Baitar , 13th century, Kitāb al-jāmiʿ li-mufradāt al-adwiya wa al-aghdhiya. Translation. Joseph Sontheimer under the title Large compilation on the powers of the well-known simple healing and food. Hallberger, Stuttgart Volume I 1840, p. 164: Balluth Quercus (Castanea is mentioned therein) (digitized version ) ; Volume II 1842, p. 78: Schahbaluth . (Castania vesca). This is the Castanie, which I already mentioned in the letter B under the word Balluth (digitized version )
  28. ^ Charles Victor Daremberg and Friedrich Anton Reuss (1810–1868). S. Hildegardis Abbatissae Subtilitatum Diversarum Naturarum Creaturarum Libri Novem. Physica , Book III, Chapter 12: Kestenbaum . Migne, Paris 1855. Sp. 1226–1227 (digitized version ) - translation: Marie-Louise Portmann. Basel 1991, pp. 248–249: The chestnut tree is very warm, but still has great power that is mixed with the warmth and denotes wisdom. And what is in him and also his fruit is very useful against every weakness that is in man. But people who suffer from gout and are therefore hot-tempered because gout always goes hand in hand with anger, boil the leaves and peel of the fruit in water and use them to make a steam bath, which he often does, and the gout in him will soften, and he will have a mild mind. And when the plague kills the cattle, crush its bark and soak it in water so that it acquires its taste, and often add it to the drink for donkeys and horses, cattle and sheep and pigs and for all other cattle, and the plague will depart from them and they will be healed. If a horse or cattle or donkey or other cattle has eaten too much, feed them leaves in the feed if they can, or if they refuse to eat, pulverize the leaves and throw that powder in the water and give it drink it often in potion and it will be cured. But a person who makes a stick out of his wood and carries it in his hand, so that the hand becomes warm as a result, the veins and all forces of the body are strengthened from this warming. And also take in the scent of this wood often and it will bring health to your head. But even a person whose brain is empty due to dryness and who is therefore weak in the head, boil the kernels of this tree in water and do not add anything else, and when the water has been poured out, he should often sober it up take away the food, and his brain grows and becomes filled, and his nerves grow strong, and so the pain in the head will subside. And whoever has a pain in the heart, so that his heart's strength does not advance, and when he gets so sad, then he often eats these raw seeds, and this pours a juice like lard into his heart, and he will gain strength and his Find happiness again. But even those who have pain in the liver often crush these kernels and so put them in honey and often eat them with this honey, and their liver will become healthy. But whoever suffers from pain in the spleen should fry these kernels a little over the fire, and then often eat them a little warm, and the spleen becomes warm and strives for complete health. But even if you have a stomach ache, boil these kernels strongly in water and crush the cooked ones in water, namely to pulp, and then mix some breadcrumbs with water in a bowl, that is (he) knocks (it), and he adds to this Flour licorice powder and a little less powder of the root of angelic sweet, and then he cook it again with the mentioned kernels and prepare a sauce and then eat it, and it will cleanse his stomach and make him warm and strong.
  29. ^ Konrad von Megenberg , 14th century: Book of nature. Output. Franz Pfeiffer . Aue, Stuttgart 1861, p. 317: Kestenpaum (digitized version )
  30. Herbarius Moguntinus , Mainz 1484, Part II, Chapter 32: Castanea (digitized version)
  31. Gart der Gesundheit . Mainz 1485, chapter 122: Castaneus kestenbaum (digitized version )
  32. Hortus sanitatis 1491, Mainz 1491, Part I, Chapter 105: Castanea (digitized version)
  33. ^ Otto Brunfels : Ander Teyl des Teütschen Contrafayten Kreüterbůchs . Johann Schott, Strasbourg 1537, p. 162: Kesten (digitized version)
  34. ^ Leonhart Fuchs : New Kreütterbuch ... Michael Isingrin, Basel 1543, Chapter 141: Kesten (digitized version)
  35. Hieronymus Bock : New Kreütter Bůch . Wendel Rihel, Strasbourg 1539, Part III, Chapter 69: Castanien nut (digitized version )
  36. ^ Pietro Andrea Mattioli : Commentarii, in libros sex Pedacii Dioscoridis Anazarbei, de medica materia. Translation by Georg Handsch, edited by Joachim Camerarius the Younger , Johan Feyerabend, Franckfurt am Mayn 1586, sheet 66v: Castanienbaum (digitized)
  37. ^ Translation of the text by Franz Unterkircher. Tacuinum sanitatis … Graz 2004, p. 57: Kastanien. (Noble) chestnuts: Complexion: warm in the first, dry in the second degree. Full and well ripe ones are preferable. Benefits: for the chest and against urinary problems, they strengthen the appetite, remove disgust and nausea. Damage: they weigh down the brain and stomach due to their windiness. Prevention of harm: when roasted and enjoyed with salt and fine wine. What They Produce: Moderately Good Nutrient. Beneficial for people with a warm complexion, adolescents and children, in winter and in cold areas.
  38. ^ Georg August Pritzel , Carl Jessen : The German folk names of plants. New contribution to the German linguistic treasure. Philipp Cohen, Hannover 1882, p. 85, archive.org .
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on August 7, 2008 in this version .