Castanea sativa a native of the mountain forests of western Asia, Europe and north Afrrica. This species is cultivated in many parts of the Himalayas (specially in the Punjab, N.W.F.P. and Darjeeling) and Khasi hills. In its native habitat it attains a height of 50 -80 ft., which it is never known to reach in India. The nut contains an edible kernel nclosed in a thin, tough and astringent skin and surrounded by a spinous cupule. There are many varieties of C. sativa differing in the quality of kernels; the forms grown in India are inferior to those cultivated in Europe.