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Carya alba (Linnaeus) Nuttall ex Elliott

Common names: mockernut hickory, white hickory, white-heart hickory.
Synonyms: Carya tomentosa (Poiret) Nuttall, Carya tomentosa (Poiret) Nuttall var. subcoriacea (Sargent) Palmer & Steyermark, Hicoria alba (Linnaeus) Britton, Hicoria tomentosa (Lamarck ex Poiret) Rafinesque, Juglans tomentosa Poiret.
Family: Juglandaceae.

Brief description:
A medium to large-sized, deciduous tree, typically ranging from 2035 m (65115 ft.) tall when fully grown. Buds are relatively large (820 mm long), and grayish to reddish brown, (tan, after the outer scales fall), with imbricate bud scales. Twigs are relatively stout. Bark of mature trunks is gray, with furrows and ridges, but not shaggy. Leaves are alternate, large (usually 2050 cm long), and pinnately compound, with 79 (occasionally 5) leaflets. Leaflets are obovate or oblancoleate to oval or ovate in shape, with coarsely to finely serrate margins, and are densely hairy on the lower surface. Leaves produce a pungent odor when bruised or crushed. Petiole and rachis are persistently hairy. Separate male and female inflorescences occur on the same tree, the male flowers in drooping catkins, the female flowers in short, terminal spikes. Fruits are large (38 cm long) nuts enclosed in a thick (410 mm) husk that typically splits into four sections. Mockernut hickory is one of the most common trees in the North Carolina Piedmont.

USDA Profile

Herbarium sheet images:
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Live specimen images:

• Individual leaf • Branchlet with buds • Close-up of buds • Close-up of leaf scar 1 • Close-up of leaf scar 2 •

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