Castanopsis indica (Roxb.) A.DC. - FAGACEAE

Synonym : Quercus indicaDrake del Castillo
Castanea indica Roxb.

Common name : Chestnut

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Botanical descriptions Habitat and ecology Distribution

Botanical descriptions :

Diagnostic characters : Leaf margin distinctly and sharply toothed except near the base. Fruits densely clustered and completely covered by long slender straight sharp spines of different lengths.
Habit : Evergreen tree up to 20 m height. Branches ascending, young shoots densely orange-brown hairy.
Trunk & bark : Bole straight. Bark brown or silvery grey, more or less fissured, inner bark fibrous, pale orange soon darkening.
Branches and branchlets or twigs : Twigs terete and tomentously-hairy when young, becoming glabrous.
Exudates : Exudate absent.
Leaves : Leaves simple, alternate, 11 -15 by 3.5 - 7 cm, elliptic - oblong, tip acute, base acute, margin distinctly and quite sharply dentate except near base, glabrous and shiny above, densely hairy with minute creamy-orange hairs below.
Midrib flat above, primary vein single, secondary veins oblique to the midrib, widely parallel, tertiary veins oblique.
Stipules deciduous.
Inflorescences or flowers : Flowers unisexual on the same tree.
Fruits : Fruit a nearly closed spiny acorn 2.5-4 cm in length, orange-brown, dehiscent.
Seeds : 3-4 seeds.

Habitat and ecology :

It can be found in a wide variety of forest types, mixed-deciduous forest, evergreen forest. Flowering period: April –May; fruiting time: October-December.

Distribution :

Burma (Myanmar), China, India, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos (Khammouane, other northern provinces, Luang Prabang, Xiengkhouang, Houaphanh,…).

Remark/notes/uses :
The wood is resistant to termites may be used in construction and furniture making. Fruits edible in the cooked state.

Specimens studied :
BT 290 (Herbarium of Faculty of Sciences-NUoL, NHN-Leiden and CIRAD-Montpellier).

Literature :
Gardner S., Sidisunthorn P. & Anusarnsunthorn V. 2000. A field guide to Forest Trees of Northern Thailand. Kobfai Publishing Project. Bangkok. Thailand.
Lecomte H. (ed.). 1907-1912. Flore Générale de l'Indo-Chine. Vol.5 (8-10), Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Laboratoire de Phanérogamie, Paris, France.
Lehmann L., M. Greijmans and D. Shenman. 2003. Forests and trees of the central highlands of Xieng Khouang Lao PDR, A field guide. Lao Tree Seed Project, Vientiane, Laos.

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