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Vascular Plants of California
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Carya illinoinensis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: JuglandaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Shrub, tree; monoecious. Leaf: odd-(even-)1-pinnate, alternate, deciduous; stipules 0. Inflorescence: catkin, generally appearing before leaves, 1 or clustered; flowers generally 1 in bract axils. Staminate Inflorescence: pendent, elongate, many-flowered, on last year's twigs. Pistillate Inflorescence: erect; flowers 1--many, at tip of new twigs. Staminate Flower: calyx [0 or] lobes generally 4 [2, 6]; petals 0; stamens 3--40[50]; pistil 0 or vestigial. Pistillate Flower: calyx [0] or lobes 4; petals 0; stamens 0; ovary 1, inferior, chamber 1 above, generally 2 below, styles 2, plumose. Fruit: nut enclosed in husk or winged nutlets.
Genera In Family: 9 genera, > 60 species: northern temperate, subtropical mountains; some ornamental, cultivated for wood, nuts (Carya hickory, pecan; Juglans walnut). Note: In Carya, Juglans, husk included in fruit diam, even though derived from involucre, calyx, and therefore not technically part of fruit.
eFlora Treatment Author: Alan T. Whittemore
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: CaryaView Description 

Common Name: HICKORY
Stem: Bark furrowed in age, gray; twig centers not chambered; buds scaly. Pistillate Inflorescence: flowers 1--few; in fruit erect. Pistillate Flower: styles short. Fruit: husk enclosing 1--3 unwinged nuts, splitting longitudinally, separating from fruit.
Species In Genus: +- 17 species: eastern North America, eastern Mexico, eastern Asia. Etymology: (Greek: nut)
Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch
Habit: Tree to 45 m. Stem: bark shallowly to deeply furrowed; terminal buds 6--7 mm, brown, scales valvate. Leaf: leaflets (7)9--13, lanceolate, 110--160 mm, 28--43 mm wide, sickle-shaped, acuminate. Staminate Inflorescence: +- sessile. Fruit: 3--4 cm, 1.5--2 cm diam, elliptic to +- cylindric, with four low wings along sutures; shell smooth.
Ecology: Riparian forest, watercourse margins; Elevation: < 600 m. Bioregional Distribution: SnJV, SCo; Distribution Outside California: eastern Texas, Louisiana to Illinois, Indiana. Flowering Time: Apr--May
Unabridged Note: See ICPN for discussion of variant spellings of epithet.
Jepson eFlora Author: Alan T. Whittemore
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Carya
Next taxon: Juglans

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Citation for this treatment: Alan T. Whittemore 2012, Carya illinoinensis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, /eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=17995, accessed on May 25, 2020.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2020, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 25, 2020.

Carya illinoinensis
click for enlargement
© 2016 Steve Matson
Carya illinoinensis
click for enlargement
© 2016 Steve Matson
Carya illinoinensis
click for enlargement
© 2016 Steve Matson
Carya illinoinensis
click for enlargement
© 2016 Steve Matson
Carya illinoinensis
click for enlargement
© 2016 Steve Matson
Carya illinoinensis
click for enlargement
© 2016 Steve Matson

More photos of Carya illinoinensis in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Carya illinoinensis:
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


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Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
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All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).