Chinquapin Chrysolepis chrysophylla var. minor

Chinquapin is rare in this region and is most often found as a shrub. However a few specimens do grow to 30 feet with a trunk over 6" in diameter in the Santa Lucias. It is a member of the Beech Family (Fagaceae) as are the Oaks and Tan Oak.

Chinquapin has leathery leaves that are evergreen and a fruit that is dinstinctly covered with bristle-like spikes which fall away in the autumn to expose the nut.

Chinquapin bristles and seeds
The fruit is well protected by a dense covering of spines.
Chinquapin The leathery leaves are evergreen, with a smooth margin, and are 3-4 inches in length. The nuts are more often cover with bristle-like hairs which fall away in the autumn.

Chinquapin top side
The leathery leaves are dark green above and folded upward along the midrib.

Chinquapin under side
The underside of the same branch above. The yellow underside of the Chinquapin leaf is a distinctive golden color, hence the name "Golden" Chinquapin.

Chinquapin "tree" of about 25 feet growing alongside Bishop Pines.

Chinquapin bud
Chinquapin bud on the tip of a branch

Chinquapin bark is light gray and relatively smooth. Larger mature Chinquapin can have thick rough bark.

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