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Comparison of Features of Hickories (Carya spp.)

Key to southeastern U.S. Carya (hickory) species
Compare Carya fruits (hickory nuts)
Compare shagbark hickories

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Name Habitat Leaf Leaf margin /
lower surface
Nut Twig / buds Bark
Carya carolinae-septentrionalis
southern shagbark hickory
limestone soils
Carya cordiformis
bitternut hickory
streambanks, moist forests
Carya glabra
pignut hickory
abundant on dry ridges >
Carya illinoinensis (pecan)  bottomland forests, planted

Carya laciniosa
shellbark (kingnut) hickory
streambanks,  bottomland forests
Carya ovalis
red hickory
ridge and slope forests
Carya ovata
shagbark hickory
wide variety of habitats, well-drained slope forests
Carya palida
sand hickory


Carya tomentosa   
mockernut hickory
dry ridges and slopes
Habitat reference: Chester EW, RJ Jensen, LJ Schibig, S Simoni. 1987. The Nut Trees of Land Between the Lakes. The Center for Field Biology of LBL, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN