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Carya ovata

Shagbark Hickory

Family Juglandaceae


Use
Nuts, candy, flour, oil, syrup, sugar, water. The raw nuts can be eaten
plain or sweetened with sugar or syrup. They can also be ground
into coarse flour. When crushed and boiled, the shell will sink and the
top layer of milky oil can used as gravy or butter, and the meat of
the ground nuts can be eaten as is or mashed and dried in
cakes for later consumption. The sap can be gathered as in maples.


Description

Growth Form: Tree, usually very tall with straight trunk.

Leaves: Pinnately compound, 20-35cm long (8-14in), usually with 5 (sometimes 7) oval leaflets. Saw-toothed.

Flowers: Very small, greenish, appearing in early spring .

Leaves and green fruits ((c) Dan L. Perlman/EcoLibrary.org)
Leaves and green fruits,
(c) Dan L. Perlman/EcoLibrary.org

Ripe Fruit, Whole (Emily Silver. Brandeis University)

Ripe Fruit, Whole (Emily Silver. Brandeis University)
Ripe Fruits

Fruits: 3-6 cm (~1-2.25in) long, nearly round. Husk is dark brown-blackish, very thick, splitting in four sections all the way to base.

Buds: Large, brown, and hairy.

Bark: Occurring in loose strips, light-colored.

Bark (Hannah Ramer. Brandeis University)
Bark

Habitat and Range

Woods on moist to dry soils on upland slopes and valleys. From Minnesota to Maine, south to Georgia, and west to southeastern Texas.

Season

Nuts should be gathered after they have fallen to the ground, usually in late autumn after the leaves have dropped. Sap should be harvested in the spring, when daytime temperatures are above freezing and nighttime temperatures are below.

Click here to see a recipe for Oatmeal-Hickory-Nut Cookies!

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