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Plant Details

Carya aquatica

Water Hickory, Bitter Pecan

Scientific Name:

Carya aquatica

Genus:

Carya

Species Epithet:

aquatica

Common Name:

Water Hickory, Bitter Pecan

Plant Type

Tree

Plant Family

Juglandaceae (Walnut Family)

Native/Alien:

NC Native

Size:

72-100 ft.

Light:

Part Shade - 2 to 6 hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Moist, Wet

Bloom Time:

April, May

Growing Area:

Piedmont, Sandhills, Coastal Plain

Habitat Description:

Swamp forests, where flooded during the winter months

Leaf Arrangement:

Alternate

Leaf Retention:

Deciduous

Leaf Type:

Leaves veined, not needle-like or scale-like

Leaf Form:

Compound

Wildlife Value:

Important for Wildlife

Landscape Value:

Not Assigned

Notes:

It is considered important in cleansing drainage waters since the plants slow water flow during flooding, allowing sediments to fall out of the water column. This tree species is tolerant of wet soils but grows best on well draining soils near rivers and other water ways. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carya_aquatica

Male Catkins

Water Hickory is common on the coast in swamp forests that are flooded in the winter. Looking much like a Pecan tree, it differs in having pubescent leaflets, a flattened nut, and, when mature, scaly bark.

image

Jack Spruill, 5/26/11, Hampstead

Female Flower Buds

image

Jack Spruill, Hampstead, 5/26/11

Nuts

Husks are thin, 4-winged and split nearly to the base. The nut is bitter.

image

Jack Spruill, Hampstead

Links:

USDA PLANTS Database Record


Bird-Friendly Native Plants



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