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Carya glabra (Mill.) Sweet

Pignut Hickory

Modern name

Carya glabra (Mill.) Sweet


Juglants glabra Mill.; C. porcina Nutt.

A tree to 100 ft high; bark grey, fissured, with interlacing ridges which are often scaly or ragged; young shoots glabrous. Leaves 8 to 12 in. long, composed of five or seven leaflets, the basal ones of which are ovate-lanceolate, the terminal ones much larger and more or less obovate; all taper-pointed, rounded or tapering at the base, sharply toothed; both surfaces glabrous except for some down along the midrib and veins, which mostly falls away by autumn. The large terminal leaflets are 5 to 7 in. long, and 2 to 3 in. wide, the lowest pair about one-third the size; common stalk glabrous. Male catkins 3 to 5 in. long, slightly scurfy. Fruit variable in shape and size, mostly rounded or pear-shaped, flattened or even sunk at the apex. Kernel of nut astringent.

Native of eastern N. America, as far to the north as Maine; introduced in 1799. This hickory thrives very well in England. Earlier this century there was a specimen 80 ft high at Kew, which often bore good crops of fruit. This is gone; the present example, by the Lion Gate, measures 52 × 414 (1963). There is a tree of about the same size in the Glasnevin Botanic Garden, Dublin.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

specimens: Kew, near Lion Gate, 68 × 434 ft (1979); Cannizaro Park, London, 72 × 234 + 134 ft (1983); Wakehurst Place, Sussex, The Slips, 77 × 314 ft (1974); Carclew (Trevorrick), Cornwall, 65 × 6 ft (1979).



Other species in the genus