nutmeg hickory Juglandaceae Carya
myristiciformis (Michx. f.) Nutt. symbol: CAMY
Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound, 5 to 11 (most commonly 7) serrated, ovate to lance-shaped leaflets, 12 to 24 inches long, lower leaf surfaces covered with bronze to silvery scales, rachis scruffy fuzzy.
Flower: Species is monoecious; males flowers are yellow-green slender hanging catkins 2 to 4 inches long; females are short and in small clusters at branch tips, appearing in mid-spring.
Fruit: Round, to 2 inches across, thick husks have yellowish scales and clearly winged seams; nut is thick shelled, round, sweet, and striped (resembling nutmeg nuts); ripens in early fall.
Twig: Moderately stout, slender when compared to other hickories, covered with silver-bronze scales, leaf scars three lobed; buds ovoid with scruffy hairs and silver-bronze scales; lateral buds protrude noticeably.
Bark: Young trees gray and smooth later becoming dark gray, ridges and furrows form a diamond shaped pattern, ridges rough and somewhat scaly.
Form: Large sized tree with a straight trunk and dense crown, reaches up to 100 feet tall.
Looks like: sand hickory - water hickory - bitternut hickory - pecan
Additional Range Information: Carya myristiciformis is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting nutmeg hickory.
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson