Botanist's Glossary

Chestnut Tree - Castanea sativa

  • Description
    • The chestnut tree (Fagaceae family) is a majestic tree that can live for centuries. It has large, boldly toothed, oblong-lanceolate leaves. It produces chestnut burs, covered with spines, each one containing 1 to 3 seeds with a brown leathery rind: the chestnuts. Grown in acidic or decalcified soil, it contributes to the landscape and economy of many French regions, from Limousin to the Cévennes, and from the Maures hills on the French Riviera to Corsica.
  • Traditions
    • The chestnut was important to the Corsicans and people of the Cévennes. In regions where it grew well, it was a staple food before the introduction of the potato. There is chestnut purée, chestnut flour... Many recipes are made with this fruit. These days, the trend is for chestnut cream or glazed chestnuts. The "marron" chestnut, which should not be confused with the toxic fruit of the horse chestnut, is a large chestnut that has no partitions inside the kernel. The strong-flavored, dark-colored chestnut honey is very popular among honey lovers.
  • Properties
    • Chestnut extracts are nourishing and stimulating due to their rich carbohydrate content. They help to maintain the skin’s barrier function and to regulate the desquamation process.