Carya cordiformis (Wangenh.) K. Koch

Common names

Bitternut Hickory

Synonyms

Juglans cordiformis Wangenh.; C. amara Nutt.

Article sources

Bean

A tree up to 100 ft high; bark smooth on younger trees, later broken into shallow furrows and narrow, interlacing ridges; young shoots glabrous or soon becoming so; winter buds coated with bright yellow scales. Leaves 6 to 10 in. (occasionally 15 in.) long, composed usually of seven, but sometimes five or nine leaflets, the lowest pair of which are considerably smaller than the others. Leaflets lance-shaped, narrowly oval, oblong or obovate, tapered at both ends, sharply toothed; 2 to 6 in. long, 34 to 212 in. wide; glabrous above, downy at first below, especially along the midrib and veins; common stalk downy. Fruits usually in pairs or threes, pear-shaped to roundish, 34 to 112 in. long, with a thin, yellowish husk. Nut thin-shelled, with a bitter kernel. Male catkins usually in threes, 212 to 3 in. long, downy.

Native of eastern N. America; introduced, according to Aiton, in 1766. Of all the cultivated hickories, this appears to be the hardiest and the best grower. It is easily distinguished from all the rest by the bright yellow winter buds.

The largest recorded in recent years are: Kew, by the Lion Gate, 84 × 5 ft (1963), another by the Main Gate, 89 × 512 ft (1965) and others slightly smaller; Westonbirt, Glos., in the Main Drive, 86 × 434 ft (1964); Tortworth, Glos., 85 × 614 ft (1964); Hergest Croft, Heref., 70 × 412 ft (1961); Bicton, Devon, 85 × 834 (1967).


From the Supplement (Vol. V)

specimens: Kew, near Lion Gate, 88 × 512 ft (1976), Pagoda Vista, 88 × 6 ft, 90 × 614 ft and 92 × 534 ft (1981); Kensington Gardens, London, Flower Walk, 70 × 612 ft (1981); Leeds Castle, Kent, a superb tree of 108 × 914 ft (1982); Hollycombe, Liphook, Hants, 97 × 534 ft (1984); Syston Park, Lincs., 71 × 514 ft in 1908, now 77 × 834 ft, with a fine bole (1983); Westonbirt, Glos., Broad Drive, 80 × 534 ft (1980); Tortworth, Glos., 88 × 634 ft (1973); Bicton, Devon, 85 × 712 ft and 87 × 614 ft (1983).

Genus

Carya

Other species in the genus