Oak - Chinquapin, seedling
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Chinquapin Oak.
Quercus muehlenbergii
Oak - Chinquapin, seedling

Uses:
Acquired: tbd
How started:
Source: Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle

Chinquapin Oak (also Chinkapin Oak) acorns contain very little bitter tannin. They are sweet and palatable. Indeed, the nuts contained inside of the thin shell are among the sweetest of any oak, with an excellent taste even when eaten raw, providing an excellent source of food for both wildlife and people. The acorns are eaten by squirrels, mice, voles, chipmunks, deer, turkey, and other birds. I collected acorns under a huge tree in the local arboretum.

An interesting sidenote on the name. The tree's scientific name honors Gotthilf Heinrich Ernst Muhlenberg (1753–1815), a Lutheran pastor and amateur botanist in Pennsylvania. In publishing the name Quercus mühlenbergii, German-American botanist George Engelmann mistakenly used an umlaut in spelling Muhlenberg's name, even though Pennsylvania-born Muhlenberg himself did not use an umlaut in his name. Under the modern rules of botanical nomenclature, umlauts are transliterated, with "ü" becoming "ue", hence Engelmann's Quercus mühlenbergii is now presented as Quercus muehlenbergii. In lack of evidence that Engelmann's use of the umlaut was an unintended error, and hence correctable, the muehlenbergii spelling is considered correct, although the more appropriate orthographic variant Quercus muhlenbergii is often seen.


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