Burrs from the golden chinkapin (Chrysolepis chrysophylla) was one of the treasures which we gathered on our Sep 9–11 trip along a portion of the Barlow Road, just below Mt. Hood. Twice before we’ve attempted to grow chinkapins we bought as small plants. The first we lost in its first winter in the ground; the second didn’t last the first summer in the pot. By gathering chinkapins from the Mt Hood area we hope to have at least a few that will survive Wenatchee area winters.
Chinkapins are a close relative of the oaks, beeches, and chestnuts. The vivid golden color of the leaf underside gives the golden chinkapin its name. The nuts are said to be rather sweet. However, we have no plans to eat the ones we gathered; they will all be used to produce seedlings. Perhaps we may live long enough to enjoy nuts from the next generation.