Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch - Pecan


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Carya illinoinensis - (image 1 of 5)



Family: Juglandaceae


Wet alluvial forests.




Southwest Ohio to IA and eastern KS, south to AL, TX, and northern Mexico.


Deciduous tree; bark deeply furrowed; terminal bud scales 4-6, valvate; leaflets 11-17, oblong-lanceolate, the lateral conspicuously falcate, the terminal commonly on a stalk 2-4 mm; fruits in spikes of 3-10, ellipsoid or cylindric, 3-5 cm, narrowly winged at the base; nut ellipsoid or cylindric, terete, 2.5-4 cm, brown, smooth, short-pointed; kernel edible (not bitter), each half barely notched at the tip.


Flowers early May to early June; fruit ripening in the fall.

Wetland indicator: FACW

Prized as a commercial nut producer, shade tree, and as a source of wood for making furniture and flooring. Can hybridize with C. cordiformis, C. laciniosa, C. aquatica, and C. tomentosa.


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY




Michael Hough 2018