- Bitternut Hickory
name = Bitternut Hickory
image_width = 240px
image_caption = Bitternut Hickory foliage
divisio = Magnoliophyta
classis = Magnoliopsida
genus = "Carya"
species = "C. cordiformis"
binomial = "Carya cordiformis"
binomial_authority = (Wangenh.) K.Koch
The Bitternut Hickory ("Carya cordiformis") is a common
hickorynative to the eastern United Statesand southeast Canada, from Minnesota, southern Ontarioand Vermontsouth to eastern Texasand northern Florida.
It is a large
deciduous tree, growing up to 35 m tall (exceptionally to 47 m), with a trunk up to 1 m diameter. The leaves are 15-30 cm long, pinnate, with 7-11 leaflets, each leaflet lanceolate, 7-13 cm long, with the apical leaflets the largest but only slightly so. The flowers are small wind-pollinated catkins, produced in spring. The fruitis a very bitter nut, 2-3 cm long with a green four-valved cover which splits off at maturity in the fall, and a hard, bony shell. Another indentifying characteristic is its bright sulfur-yellow winter buds. No other hickory has this feature.
It is closely related to the
Pecan, sharing similar leaf shape and being classified in the same section of the genus "Carya" sect. "Apocarya", but unlike the Pecan, it does not have edible nuts. It is most readily distinguished from the Pecan by the smaller number of leaflets, with many leaves having only 7 leaflets (rarely fewer than 9, and often 11-13, in the Pecan). Hybrids with the Pecan are known, and named "Carya × brownii".
* [http://www.na.fs.fed.us/pubs/silvics_manual/volume_2/carya/cordiformis.htm USDA Forest Service description]
* [http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=233500315 Flora of North America: "Carya cordiformis"]
* [http://www.cas.vanderbilt.edu/bioimages/species/frame/caco15.htm "Carya cordiformis" images at bioimages.vanderbilt.edu]
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