But It Looks Like A Chinquapin - A Tale of Tree Misidentification

Dear Henry,

Do you remember me mentioning the Ozark Chinquapin?

Last night Fish and I were wandering around the forest and we came upon these cute little shrubs.

They looked kind of like little chestnut trees.

I immediately got excited.  Not only did I find one of the Chinquapins I found four of them

We noted the location of the trees, took a couple of the nuts, and a couple of leaves so that we could verify the tree type (neither one of us had our phones with us).

Of course, if it were that easy to find an Ozark Chinquapin, no one would be looking for them.

Turns out, what we found is an Ohio Buckeye and I hadn't realized that there were two species of Buckeye in Arkansas.  The Red Buckeye is the most common and is distributed in almost every corner of the state, except the Ozark region,  the Ohio Buckeye, on the other hand, only grows in the Ozark region.

While the nuts are poisonous, they do hold value - as a lucky charm.  The old saying is "You'll never find a dead man with a buckeye in his pocket." and so the seeds regularly show up in the change collection trays during TSA prescreening.

I will be harvesting some for my next flight.

xoxo a.d.



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