Monday, November 30, 2009

Carya cordiformis


I think it's neat to find this tree growing in Friendswood. It's a type of hickory called bitternut hickory. It ranges all the way from southern Canada to East Texas and is typically found in bottomlands and even swamps (it's also called swamp hickory). The nuts of this tree are, as the name implies, bitter and mostly inedible. They look like smallish (around 1 inch in diameter), round pecans with a thin, four-segmented husk. The pecan is actually also a hickory (Carya illinoiensis). The leaves of the bitternut hickory I found were around a foot in length. One distinctive characteristic is the bright orange buds. The specimen I found had been hacked down but I'm hoping to find a nice mature one somewhere as they are supposed to be one of the tallest hickories growing up to 100ft tall.