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Odd chestnut seedlings? [Answered: they're WATER chestnuts, doh!]

 
Dan Boone
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As mentioned here, I am planting a bunch of supermarket chestnuts in my tree nursery, variety unknown, but presumably a Chinese chestnut of some sort.

It's going well I think; germination so far has been 100%. However, I've never seen a chestnut seedling or a chestnut tree so I am not sure what to expect. When I Google for chestnut seedling images, I get pictures of a fairly normal tree seedling, with young small leaves on a new stalk. I am assuming those are American chestnuts and hybrids.

Whereas what I am getting is unlike any tree seedling I've ever seen. Each of my chestnuts is sending up a small forest of green stalks, like chives but taller and stiffer. The tallest are above 18" by now and I still haven't seen anything resembling a leaf. Has anybody seen chestnut seedlings that look like this?

I'm enjoying the adventure of the thing, but sort of wondering if I'm ever going to get anything resembling a tree.

Just to be clear, there's just one chestnut planted in the recycled plastic beverage container you see in the attached photo.

chestnut-seedling.jpg
[Thumbnail for chestnut-seedling.jpg]
When I planted my Asian-grocery chestnuts, I got this:
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Err...Uhmm...I don't think that is any variety of chestnut that I am familiar with? Where did the seeds come from exactly? Love to know what it is though...or what kind of "chestnut?"
 
Craig Dobbelyu
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Water Chestnuts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleocharis_dulcis

 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hi Craig,

I haven't grown, only harvested wild varieties of Water Chestnut and I am not familiar with any varieties that look like Dan's photo, but there are links to ones like them. Is this how they start?

Regards,

j
 
Dan Boone
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Doh! I was indeed starting to worry that I had planted some exotic-but-mislabeled Chinese vegetable. As, indeed, it seems I have.

That other thread I linked describes the circumstances of my purchase. In short, I found them in a refrigerator case in an Asian grocery, shrink wrapped on a styrofoam produce tray, labeled simply "Chestnuts" in English. Never having seen a chestnut or a water chestnut, I seem to have leaped to the wrong conclusion.

I haven't planted them all yet. I'll attach a photo of one of the ones still in my seed fridge.

Now I guess it's time to go educate myself on the care and feeding of *water* chestnuts, because that one I tasted was mighty good! Thanks for the noodge in the right direction, folks...

water-chestnut.jpg
[Thumbnail for water-chestnut.jpg]
"Chestnut" from Asian grocery
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hey......we all learned something on this one...

It would seem that North American Water Chestnut, is very different that Asian varieties...good to know.

Let us know how you get on with growing them...they are very good eating.

Regards,

j
 
Dan Boone
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I am seeing hints that they require a seven-month frost-free growing season, which is almost exactly what I have ... but it started almost three months ago, so this year ain't lookin' good.
 
Dan Boone
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There are photos here that seem to confirm the water chestnut ID. I'm going with it for now. Live and learn, eh?
 
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