|Hickory at Morton Arboretum |
| Carya tomentosa (Poir.) Nutt. |
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||2,749 kJ (657 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||6.4 g|
|Aspartic acid||1.368 g|
|Glutamic acid||2.885 g|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)|
|†Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults. |
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Hickory is a type of tree, comprising the genus Carya (Ancient Greek : κάρυον, káryon, meaning "nut"). The genus includes 17 to 19 species. Five or six species are native to China, Indochina, and India (Assam), as many as 12 are native to the United States, four are found in Mexico, and two to four are from Canada. A number of hickory species are used for products like edible nuts or wood.
In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated stem, or trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a tree may be narrower, including only woody plants with secondary growth, plants that are usable as lumber or plants above a specified height. Trees are not a taxonomic group but include a variety of plant species that have independently evolved a woody trunk and branches as a way to tower above other plants to compete for sunlight. Trees tend to be long-lived, some reaching several thousand years old. In wider definitions, the taller palms, tree ferns, bananas, and bamboos are also trees. Trees have been in existence for 370 million years. It is estimated that there are just over 3 trillion mature trees in the world.
A genus is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, as well as viruses, in biology. In the hierarchy of biological classification, genus comes above species and below family. In binomial nomenclature, the genus name forms the first part of the binomial species name for each species within the genus.
A nut is a fruit composed of an inedible hard shell and a seed, which is generally edible. In general usage, a wide variety of dried seeds are called nuts, but in a botanical context "nut" implies that the shell does not open to release the seed (indehiscent). The translation of "nut" in certain languages frequently requires paraphrases, as the word is ambiguous.
Hickories are deciduous trees with pinnately compound leaves and large nuts. Hickory flowers are small, yellow-green catkins produced in spring. They are wind-pollinated and self-incompatible. The fruit is a globose or oval nut, 2–5 cm (0.8–2.0 in) long and 1.5–3 cm (0.6–1.2 in) diameter, enclosed in a four-valved husk, which splits open at maturity. The nut shell is thick and bony in most species, and thin in a few, notably the pecan (C. illinoinensis); it is divided into two halves, which split apart when the seed germinates.
In the fields of horticulture and botany, the term deciduous (/dɪˈsɪdʒuəs/) means "falling off at maturity" and "tending to fall off", in reference to trees and shrubs that seasonally shed leaves, usually in the autumn; to the shedding of petals, after flowering; and to the shedding of ripe fruit.
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant and is the principal lateral appendage of the stem. The leaves and stem together form the shoot. Leaves are collectively referred to as foliage, as in "autumn foliage".
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants. The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs. Flowers may facilitate outcrossing or allow selfing. Some flowers produce diaspores without fertilization (parthenocarpy). Flowers contain sporangia and are the site where gametophytes develop. Many flowers have evolved to be attractive to animals, so as to cause them to be vectors for the transfer of pollen. After fertilization, the ovary of the flower develops into fruit containing seeds.
Beaked hickory (Annamocarya sinensis) is a species formerly classified as Carya sinensis, but now adjudged in the monotypic genus Annamocarya .
Annamocarya is a genus of flowering plants in the family Juglandaceae, containing only one species, Annamocarya sinensis, native to southwestern China and northern Vietnam. It is related to the hickories, and was formerly included in the same genus Carya, as Carya sinensis, but also shares a number of characteristics with the walnuts in the genus Juglans. It is grouped with Carya in the subtribe Caryinae. It is sometimes called Chinese hickory or beaked hickory.
In the APG system, genus Carya (and the whole family Juglandaceae) has been recently moved to the order Fagales.
The APG system of plant classification is the first version of a modern, mostly molecular-based, system of plant taxonomy. Published in 1998 by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group, it was replaced by the improved APG II in 2003, APG III system in 2009 and APG IV system in 2016.
The Juglandaceae are a family, known as the walnut family, of trees, or sometimes shrubs, in the order Fagales. Various members of this family are native to the Americas, Eurasia, and Southeast Asia. Members of the walnut family have large, aromatic leaves that are usually alternate, but opposite in Alfaroa and Oreomunnea. The leaves are pinnately compound or ternate, and usually 20–100 cm long.
The Fagales are an order of flowering plants, including some of the best-known trees. The order name is derived from genus Fagus, beeches. They belong among the rosid group of dicotyledons. The families and genera currently included are as follows:
Carya cathayensis is a species of hickory native to China. Peeled and roasted nuts, known as 山核桃仁, are a well-known specialty of Hangzhou.
Hickory is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species. These include:
The hickory leaf stem gall phylloxera ( Phylloxera caryaecaulis) also uses the hickory tree as a food source. Phylloxeridae are related to aphids and have a similarly complex life cycle. Eggs hatch in early spring and the galls quickly form around the developing insects. Phylloxera galls may damage weakened or stressed hickories, but are generally harmless.
Deformed leaves and twigs can rain down from the tree in the spring as squirrels break off infected tissue and eat the galls, possibly for the protein content or because the galls are fleshy and tasty to the squirrels. The pecan gall curculio ( Conotrachelus elegans ) is a true weevil species also found feeding on galls of the hickory leaf stem gall phylloxera.
The banded hickory borer (Knulliana cincta) is also found on hickories.
Some fruits are borderline and difficult to categorize. Hickory nuts (Carya) and walnuts ( Juglans ) in the Juglandaceae family grow within an outer husk; these fruits are sometimes considered to be drupes or drupaceous nuts, rather than true botanical nuts. "Tryma" is a specialized term for such nut-like drupes.
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Hickory wood is very hard, stiff, dense and shock resistant. There are woods that are stronger than hickory and woods that are harder, but the combination of strength, toughness, hardness, and stiffness found in hickory wood is not found in any other commercial wood.It is used for tool handles, bows, wheel spokes, carts, drumsticks, lacrosse stick handles, golf club shafts (sometimes still called hickory stick, even though made of steel or graphite), the bottom of skis, walking sticks, and for punitive use as a switch (like hazel), and especially as a cane-like hickory stick in schools and use by parents. Paddles are often made from hickory. This property of hickory wood has left a trace in some Native American languages: in Ojibwe, hickory is called mitigwaabaak, a compound of mitigwaab "bow" and the final -aakw "hardwood tree".
Baseball bats were formerly made of hickory, but are now more commonly made of ash. Hickory is replacing ash as the wood of choice for Scottish shinty sticks (also known as camans). Hickory was extensively used for the construction of early aircraft.
Hickory is also highly prized for wood-burning stoves and chimineas because of its high energy content. Hickory wood is also a preferred type for smoking cured meats. In the Southern United States, hickory is popular for cooking barbecue, as hickory grows abundantly in the region and adds flavor to the meat.
Hickory is sometimes used for wood flooring due to its durability in resisting wear and character. Hickory wood is not noted for rot resistance.
A bark extract from shagbark hickory is also used in an edible syrup similar to maple syrup, with a slightly bitter, smoky taste.
The nuts of some species are palatable, while others are bitter and only suitable for animal feed. Shagbark and shellbark hickory, along with pecan, are regarded by some as the finest nut trees.
When cultivated for their nuts, clonal (grafted) trees of the same cultivar cannot pollinate each other because of their self-incompatibility. Two or more cultivars must be planted together for successful pollination. Seedlings (grown from hickory nuts) will usually have sufficient genetic variation.
Walnut trees are any species of tree in the plant genus Juglans, the type genus of the family Juglandaceae, the seeds of which are referred to as walnuts. All species are deciduous trees, 10–40 metres (33–131 ft) tall, with pinnate leaves 200–900 millimetres (7.9–35.4 in), with 5–25 leaflets; the shoots have chambered pith, a character shared with the wingnuts (Pterocarya), but not the hickories (Carya) in the same family.
The pecan is a species of hickory native to northern Mexico and the southern United States in the region of the Mississippi River. The tree is cultivated for its seed in the southern United States, primarily in Georgia, and in Mexico which produces nearly half of the world total. The seed is an edible nut used as a snack and in various recipes, such as praline candy and pecan pie. Pecan is the state nut of Alabama, Arkansas, California, and Texas.
Carya ovata, the shagbark hickory, is a common hickory in the Eastern United States and southeast Canada. It is a large, deciduous tree, growing well over 100 ft (30 m) tall, and can live more than 350 years. The tallest measured shagbark, located in Savage Gulf, Tennessee, is over 150 ft (46 m) tall. Mature shagbarks are easy to recognize because, as their name implies, they have shaggy bark. This characteristic is, however, only found on mature trees; young specimens have smooth bark.
Juglandeae is a tribe of the Juglandoideae subfamily, in the Juglandaceae family. Walnut tree species comprise the Juglans genus, which belong to the Juglandeae tribe.
Carya cordiformis, the bitternut hickory, also called bitternut or swamp hickory, is a large pecan hickory with commercial stands located mostly north of the other pecan hickories. Bitternut hickory is cut and sold in mixture with the true hickories. It is the shortest-lived of the hickories, living to about 200 years.
Carya glabra, the pignut hickory, is a common, but not abundant species of hickory in the oak-hickory forest association in the Eastern United States and Canada. Other common names are pignut, sweet pignut, coast pignut hickory, smoothbark hickory, swamp hickory, and broom hickory. The pear-shaped nut ripens in September and October and is an important part of the diet of many wild animals. The wood is used for a variety of products, including fuel for home heating.
Carya laciniosa, the shellbark hickory, in the Juglandaceae or walnut family is also called shagbark hickory, bigleaf shagbark hickory, kingnut, big, bottom, thick, or western shellbark, attesting to some of its characteristics. It is a slow-growing, long-lived tree, hard to transplant because of its long taproot, and subject to insect damage. The nuts, largest of all hickory nuts, are sweet and edible. Wildlife and people harvest most of them; those remaining produce seedling trees readily. The wood is hard, heavy, strong, and very flexible, making it a favored wood for tool handles. A specimen tree has been reported in Missouri with 117 cm (46 in) diameter at breast height, 36.9 m tall, and a spread of 22.6 m.
Carya tomentosa, is a tree in the Juglandaceae or walnut family. The most abundant of the hickories, common in the eastern half of the US, it is long lived, sometimes reaching the age of 500 years. A straight-growing hickory, a high percentage of its wood is used for products where strength, hardness, and flexibility are needed. The wood makes an excellent fuelwood, as well.
Carya myristiciformis, the nutmeg hickory, of the Juglandaceae or walnut family, also called swamp hickory or bitter water hickory, is found as small, possibly relict populations across the Southern United States and in northern Mexico on rich moist soils of higher bottom lands and stream banks. Little is known of the growth rate of nutmeg hickory. Logs and lumber are sold mixed with other hickories. The nuts are an oil-rich food for wildlife.
Carya ovalis, the red hickory or sweet pignut hickory, is a fairly uncommon but widespread hickory native to eastern North America. It is typically found growing in dry, well drained sandy upland ridges and sloped woodlands from southern Ontario, Canada, and in the United States east to New Hampshire, south to northern Florida west to eastern Texas and north-west to Nebraska. This species was formerly treated as a variety or northern ecotype of the pignut hickory C. glabra, described as Carya glabra var. odorata. This discrepancy has not yet been completely resolved, and some sources and authors still consider red hickory as a variety or synonym of pignut hickory. However both trees are quite morphologically distinct.
Oak-hickory forest is a type of North American forest ecosystem, and an ecoregion of the Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests Biome.
A hican is a tree resulting from a cross between a pecan and some other type of hickory - or the nut from such a hybrid tree.
'Burton' is a cultivar of hican, a cross between hickory and pecan, species of the genus Carya. The Burton is an edible nut of the hicans; it is considered a shagbark. Hicans can be both edible or inedible, if the nut is larger but the tree produces far less than a shagbark they are considered shellbarks. A seedling from 'Burton' is commonly called a 'Dooley Burton' it is also an edible hican nut. Burton and Dooley Burton nuts have a unique, yet very pleasing hickory flavor indicative to hickory trees. Of the two Dooley Burton seedlings produce a more noticeable hickory-flavored nut. Hickory-pecan hybrids are often unproductive.
A pecan is a type of nut belonging to either of two species:
The pecan weevil, Curculio caryae is an obligate feeder on the nuts of North American hickories and pecans, most widely recognized as an economically important pest of the pecan, Carya illinoinensis. It has also been observed to infest one Juglans species, the Persian walnut, Juglans regia.
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