buffalo nut Santalaceae Pyrularia
|Leaf: Alternate, simple, deciduous, thin, ovate or narrowly elliptical, with long drawn-out tip, 2 to 9 inches long, entire to wavy margins, green above and below, usually pubescent on the underside, borne on short petioles.
Flower: Species is dioecious; females yellow-green on 1 inch spikes, each with 10 or fewer flowers that lack petals; males yellow-green on 2 inch spikes; appearing late spring at the branch tips.
Fruit: Pear-shaped 1 inch drupe, yellow-green (yellow-red at maturity), with thin flesh splitting to reveal a large round oily "nut"; ripening in early autumn. TOXIC oil occurs throughout the plant but is concentrated in the nut.
Twig: Moderate to slender, brown; buds large, green (eventually red-brown at the tips), oval and pointed; leaf scars round and raised with 1-3 bundle scars; pith large and white.
Bark: Gray-brown and warty.
Form: A sparsely branched shrub reaching up to 15 feet but generally under 10 feet tall.
Looks like: blackgum
- eastern leatherwood
| Additional Range Information:
Pyrularia pubera is native to North America.
Range may be expanded by planting.
See states reporting buffalo nut.
| External Links:
USDA Plants Database
|© Copyright 2016, 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