Fructification of Chestnut Trees


The female flowers are grouped usually by three in a spiny (very sharp) cupule.

The fruits are contained in this cupule called also “burr”. Usually, there are three nuts in the burr.

The fruit has two skins. The first one is a hard outer shiny brown hull (called also the peel. Underneath the peel is another thinner skin, called the "pellicle" or "episperm".

The pellicle closely adheres to the seed itself.


The chestnut and its burr


"Marron" and "Chataîgne"

AttentionEach female flower can contain several ovules (around six) that can give a fruit with one or several seeds.

In the first case the fruit is not compartmentalized and called “marron” in French.

In the second case the fruit is compartmentalized and called « châtaigne » in French.

The compartmentalization is different for each variety and is going to determine the final using of fruits.

“Marron” has usually a great size and is used for the “marron glacée” or for the ‘crême de marron”.

Marrons and Chataignes


In France when the compartmentalization is less than 12% the fruit is called « marron ». When you are more than 12% the fruit is called “Châtaigne ». 

Fruit maturity

The fruits reach maturity when burr turn yellow-brown, split open in 2 or 4 sections and fall.

The fall of fruits can be grouped for some varieties as Marigoule or Bouche de Bétizac.

Or the fall can be more spread over long time as Sardonne. 

Chestnuts Trees Species Maturity table