Carya cordiformis

5 Nov

Carya cordiformis (21/10/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Carya cordiformis (21/10/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to light shade

Flowering period: Spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 35m

Eventual Spread: 18m

Hardiness: 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family: Juglandaceae

Carya cordiformis is a deciduous tree with a cylindrical habit. Its mid green leaves are pinnate with up to 11 leaflets and up to 30cm long. Its leaflets are lanceolate with serrate margins and up to 9cm long. Its leaves turn yellow in autumn before they fall. Its grey/ brown bark is smooth when young, becoming furrowed with age. Its trunk may achieve a diameter of up to 1m. Its flowers are monoecious and wind pollinated. Its yellow/ green male flowers are catkins, appearing in groups of up to 3 and up to 10cm long. The female are very short and appear in terminal spikes. Its fruit is a drupe which is up to 3cm long, this contains a bitter nut.

Carya cordiformis Autumn Leaf (21/10/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Carya cordiformis Autumn Leaf (21/10/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Carya cordiformis, commonly known as the Bitter Hickory, Bitternut or Swamp Hickory, is native to central and east USA. In its native habitat it grows along stream banks and swamps.

The etymological root of the binomial name Carya is derived from the Greek Karia, the ancient Greek name for the ‘Walnut’. Cordiformis derived from the Latin cordi meaning ‘heart’ and forma meaning ‘shape’.

The landscape architect may find Carya cordiformis useful as a large specimen parkland tree with attractive autumn foliage. Care should be taken when locating this tree as the large nuts may cause damage to cars.

Carya cordiformis Bark (21/10/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Carya cordiformis Bark (21/10/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Carya cordiformis nuts are attractive to mammals.

Carya cordiformis prefers moist, deep, humus rich, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It will tolerate poor soils.

Carya cordiformis requires little maintenance.

Davis Landscape Architecture

Advertisements

One Response to “Carya cordiformis”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Carya Cordiformis – Bitternut Hickory | Soughing of Pines - 12/03/2016

    […] Carya cordiformis […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: