Figuring out Juglandaceae: Pecans

Note leaflets smaller towards the base of the leaf.

Continuing with Juglandaceas in the area, and onto another tasty eating nut. This time, it’s pecans, Carya illinoinensis. Its unnecessarily complicated reproduction was covered in an earlier post. Beautiful trees, tasty nuts, nice wood, survives sapsucker attacks, an all around useful tree. Not exactly native to the Piedmont (they’re further south and further west), but they’re planted every which way so you should be aware. There are two in front of the cabin. Their leaves are almost as fluffy as a black walnut’s, but not quite, 11 leaflets being more common than the 15 and up in a black walnut. The nuts are oblong, with a medium thick husk that divides into four segments. Got it? 11 leaflets, four segmented nut.

Pecan husks are about the size of a medium sized big toe.

So here’s our list so far:
Pecan = four sided husks, 11 leaflets.
Black walnut=golfball husks, lotsa leaflets.

Next week, onto the hickories proper.

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