Today's Plant is the Chestnut Tree! This tree is known for it's connections to fertility, abundance, prevention, family, and longevity. It is associated with the element of Fire and is seen as sacred to the Greek God Zeus. Staffs of Chestnut wood were created by Druids due to it's connection with longevity and invigoration thought to be transferred to the bearer of the staff. This attribute means Chestnut is an appropriate wood for creating wands for healing. Chestnut talismans are worn for a variety of reasons including when diplomacy is necessary, in situations where learning is needed and the wearer wishes for a clear mind, and as a fertility aid. Due to it's abundance in creating nuts, the Chestnut Tree is seen as a strong symbol for fertility, abundance, and preparation. When Chestnut Trees drop their nuts, it can come as a sign to gather our harvest and enjoy your bounty. However, it can also be a sign to tighten your belts in case of a hard year. With it's connections to fertility, Chestnut tree also reminds us to look to our loved ones and depend our bonds with family and friends.
Chestnut Trees consist of approximately 8 species of deciduous trees and shrubs. The most common species of Chestnut tree are the Chinese, Japanese, European, and American Chestnuts. They are not related to the horse chestnut which produces nuts mildly poisonous to humans or the water chestnut which is an aquatic plant. They belong to the family Fagaceae with their relatives being beech and oak. Native to areas of the Northern Hemisphere, they prefer temperate regions and are known for the nuts they produce. With a moderate growth rate for Chinese species and a faster rate for European and American trees, Chestnut Trees come in a variety of sizes. The European and American species often grow very tall and develop dense, rounded crowns that spread out on the sides. The Chinese and Japanese species are more wide-spreading types with a multitude of layers. It's bark is smoother which becomes thick and furrowed as they grow older. Flowering occurs in late spring or early summer. Two trees are required in order to pollinate the flowers. The Nuts grow in spiny, sharp exterior called a cupule that grows to between 2 and 5 inches in diameter. This exterior will split into sections after dropping to the ground, the humidity from the soil aiding in the opening of the shell.