bitternut hickory Juglandaceae Carya
cordiformis (Wangenh.) K. Koch symbol: CACO15
|Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound, 7 to 10 inches long, with 7 to 11 leaflets, leaflets are lanceolate and serrate, rachis is slender and pubescent, dark green above, paler below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; males are yellow-green, drooping catkins with 3 hanging from one stalk, 3 to 4 inches long; females are short, 4-angled, on a terminal spike, appearing in spring.
Fruit: Nearly globose but slightly flattened, 1 inch long, partially dehiscent from the middle to the sharp-pointed tip; husk is thin and 4-winged above the middle, often dusty-yellow looking; maturing in fall.
Twig: Moderately stout to slender (when compared to other hickories), leaf scars are 3-lobed; terminal bud is valvate, 4-angled and sulfur-yellow to brown in color.
Bark: Thin, tight and hard; initially smooth and silvery gray, much later gray with shallow furrows and interlacing ridges.
Form: A medium to large tree capable of reaching over 100 feet tall with an open, rounded top.
Looks like: water hickory
| Additional Range Information:
Carya cordiformis is native to North America.
Range may be expanded by planting.
See states reporting bitternut hickory.
Fall Color Wood
| External Links:
Silvics of North America
USDA Plants Database
|© Copyright 2015, Virginia Tech|
Dept. of Forest Resources
and Environmental Conservation,
all rights reserved.
Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson