The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section IV. Deciduous Ornamental Trees

Chestnut tree Corylaceae

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Nat. Ord. (Natural Order) Corylace�. Lin. Syst. (Linnean System) Mon�cia, Polyandria. The chestnut, for its qualities in Landscape Gardening, ranks with that king of the forest, the oak. Like that tree, it attains an enormous size, and its longevity in some cases is almost equally remarkable. Its fine massy foliage, and sweet nuts, have rendered it a favorite tree since a very remote period. Among the ancients, the latter were a common article of food. - "Sunt nobis mitia poma, Castane� molles, et pressi copia lactis." VIRG. ECL. I. They appear to have been in general use, both in a raw and cooked state. In times of scarcity, they probably supplied in some measure the place of bread-stuffs, and were thence highly valued: "As for the thrice three angled beech nut shell, Or Chestnut's armed huske and hid kernell, No squire durst touch, the law would not afford, Kept for the court, and for the king's own board." Bp. Hall, Sat. B. III. 1.