Carya illinoinensis
Common name: 
KA-ri-a il-in-oyn-EN-sis
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Deciduous tree, often low branched, straight trunk, may grow to 70-100 ft (20-30 m) or more; the largest of the hickories.  Leaves alternate, pinnately compound (odd), 9-17 leaflets, each short stalked, lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, 10-20 cm long, 2.5-7.5 cm wide, usually sickle-shaped (falcate), long pointed, base unequal and rounded or wedge-shaped (cuneate), margin serrate or double serrate, glandular and tomentose when young, becoming glabrous (without hairs); leaf petiole glabrous or pubescent.  Male (staminate) flowers in slender catkins 7.5-12 cm long, light yellow-green; female (pistillate) flowers in spikes, flowers oblong, narrowed at the ends, slightly 4-angled and coated with a scruffy pubescence.  Fruit pointed at the apex, rounded at the narrow base, 4-winged and angled, 2.5-6 cm long and 1-2.5 cm wide, dark brown or covered with yellow scales, in clusters of 3-11; the nut is ovoid to ellipsoid, 2.5-5 cm long, nearly cylindrical or slightly 4-angled at the tip, bright reddish brown, kernel sweet.
  • Sun, best in deep, moist, well-drained soil.  Difficult to transplant because of a very long tap root.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 5         Native range extends from southeastern Iowa, southern Illinois to Indiana and south to Alabama, Texas and Mexico.  Many cultivars have been developed for the commercial pecan industry which is located in the southern U.S., especially in Georgia (the top producer), Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Louisiana.
  • illinoinensis: of Illinois, southern Illinois is in its native range.
  • Corvallis: large tree in the backyard at Taylor Ave. and 10th Street
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: two small trees on lower campus near 11th Street and Jefferson Ave.; also south of Dixon Lodge on Jefferson Ave., the second tree, with a very high crown, from the NE corner of the intersection.
Click image to enlarge
  • expanding leaves, spring

    expanding leaves, spring

  • spent male catkins and leaves

    spent male catkins and leaves

  • female flowers

    female flowers

  • plant habit, large tree

    plant habit, large tree

  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • leaves


  • leaves


  • leaflets


  • leaflets


  • leaves and developing fruit

    leaves and developing fruit

  • developing fruit

    developing fruit

  • stem and buds, summer

    stem and buds, summer

  • plant habit, winter

    plant habit, winter

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark

  • old trunks, bark

    old trunks, bark

  • winter twigs, buds

    winter twigs, buds