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Chrysolepis sempervirens

Chrysolepis sempervirens (Kellogg) Hjelmqvist

Bush Chinquapin, Sierran Chinkapin, Sierra Chinquapin

Fagaceae (Beech Family)

Synonym(s): Castanopsis sempervirens

USDA Symbol: CHSE11

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A low-spreading, round-topped shrub, 2-8 ft. high, with smooth bark. Oblong leaves are gray-green on top, rusty-gold underneath. Insignificant flowers can be ill-smelling. Burs are chestnut-like.

The Bush Chinkapin can be difficult to distinguish from a shrub variety of the Giant Chinkapin, and the two are known to hybridize in some areas.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Pinnate
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Fruit Type: Nut
Size Notes: Up to about 8 feet tall.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Green
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug


Native Distribution: N. Coast Ranges, CA to s. OR
Native Habitat: Dry, rocky slopes & ridges; 2500 to 11,000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Gravelly or rocky soils.


Description: Seeds germinate readily when planted in fresh, moist peat. Layering may be successful.
Seed Collection: Nuts mature in the fall of the second year. After being spread out and dried, the burred fruits may open spontaneously. Otherwise spread the burs between thick canvas sheets and trample.
Seed Treatment: Cold stratification does not improve germination.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Chrysolepis sempervirens in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Chrysolepis sempervirens in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Chrysolepis sempervirens


Record Modified: 2022-10-17
Research By: TWC Staff

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