pecan Juglandaceae Carya
illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch symbol: CAIL2
Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound with 9 to 15 finely serrate and often curved leaflets, 12 to 18 inches long.
Flower: Species is monecious; male flowers in hanging, yellow-green catkins, often in pairs of three (4 to 5 inches long); females are small and yellowish green, 4-angled.
Fruit: Large, oblong, brown, splotched with black, thin shelled nuts, 1 1/2 to 2 inches long, husks are thin, usually occur in clusters on trees, mature in fall.
Twig: Moderately stout, light brown, fuzzy (particularly when young); leaf scars large and three lobed; buds are yellowish brown to brown, hairy, with terminal buds 1/4 to 1/2 inch long.
Bark: Smooth when young, becoming narrowly fissured into thin broken strips, often scaly.
Form: A large tree (can reach heights well over 100 feet) with spreading crown when in the open.
Looks like: water hickory - bitternut hickory
Additional Range Information: Carya illinoinensis is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting pecan.
More Information: Wood
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
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