Deciduous, native to southern Europe.
The wood is light in colour, hard and strong and used in southern Europe to make furniture, barrels and roof beams. In the town of Collobrières a confectionary industry is built around the sweet chestnut. The tree is referred to locally as ‘l’arbre à pain’.
The flowers appear after the leaves, the male and female flowers together on the same tree, the female flower situated just underneath the male catkin. The more noticeable male catkin is upright, narrow and segmented.
Lanceolate leaf is lance-shaped: long and widest in the middle, Elliptic oval leaf. Oval, oblong, pointed, positioned alternately on the branch, serrated, shiny above, lighter underneath.
Nut: sweet chestnut, inside a spiky casing which splits open into 4 parts.
Fruit: roasted or made into flour to make cakes or bread. It is very nutritious and was much used when no other staples were available.