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Carya illinoinensis - (Wangenh.)K.Koch.

Common Name Pecan
Family Juglandaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Rich moist soils of bottomlands[229], especially along the sides of streams[235].
Range Southern N. America - mainly along the Mississippi river valley.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Carya illinoinensis Pecan


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Owoce_Pekan.jpg
Carya illinoinensis Pecan
http://www.fs.fed.us/

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Oval, Rounded. Note. Sometimes misspelt as: Carya illinoiensis


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Carya illinoinensis is a deciduous Tree growing to 50 m (164ft 1in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in leaf from June to October, in flower from April to May, and the seeds ripen in October. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and is pollinated by Wind. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

C. pecan. Juglans illinoensis.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Oil  Seed
Edible Uses: Milk  Oil  Tea

Seed - raw or cooked[46, 82]. Sweet and delicious, they make an excellent dessert and are also often added to ice cream, used in cakes, bread etc[149, 183]. A milk can be made from the seed and is used to thicken soups, season corn cakes, hominy etc[183]. The seed is up to 4cm long and is produced in clusters of 3 -11[82, 229]. The seed ripens in late autumn and, when stored in its shell in a cool place, will keep for at least 6 months[K]. An edible oil is obtained from the seed[177, 183]. The leaves are said to be used as a tea[177, 183]. Carbon farming - Staple Crop: oil.

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Astringent  Parasiticide  TB

The bark and leaves are astringent[227]. A decoction of the bark has been used to treat TB[257]. The pulverized leaves have been rubbed on the skin to treat ringworm[257].

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Other Uses

Fuel  Oil  Parasiticide  Wood

Wood - coarse-grained, hard, heavy, brittle, not strong. It weighs 45 lb. per cubic foot. It is not as valuable a timber as other members of this genus and is used mainly for fuel and occasionally to make wagons and agricultural implements[46, 82, 227, 235]. A dynamic accumulator gathering minerals or nutrients from the soil and storing them in a more bioavailable form - used as fertilizer or to improve mulch.

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Dynamic accumulator  Food Forest

Cultivation details

Global Crop  Management: Standard  Other Systems: Strip intercrop  Staple Crop: Oil

Landscape Uses:Aggressive surface roots possible. Prefers a deep moisture-retentive loam in a sunny sheltered position, requiring a good summer for best development[1, 63, 137, 200]. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.5 to 8.3. Trees are fairly fast growing[200]. Trees do not grow very well in Britain, requiring hotter summers than are normally experienced here in order to fruit and fully ripen their wood[200]. However, a tree at Cambridge botanical gardens was 20 metres tall in 1985. Trees are said to be hardy to about -12°c, the same report also says that they are hardy to zone 5[200], which would experience considerably lower temperatures than this. Trees are probably much hardier when grown in areas with hot summers. In the wild, trees grow best in areas where summer temperatures average 24 - 30°c and the humidity is high[229]. Often cultivated for its edible seed, there are some named varieties[183]. Trees come into bearing when about 20 years old, the best period of production being between the ages of 75 to 225 years old[229]. Mature trees regularly give yields of 225 kilos, whilst yields of 450 kilos have been recorded[229]. A number of cultivars have been developed in N. America that succeed quite far north in that country[200]. These cultivars include:- 'Carlson 3'. Early maturing, it is being trialled in Canada[183]. 'Devore'. An early fruiting form with small nuts that have an excellent flavour[183]. 'Gibson'. Precocious, protandrous, the nuts are of medium size with a good flavour[183]. 'Green Island'. Amongst the hardiest of cultivars, it has been selected for nut size, flavour and productivity[183]. 'Mullahy'. Hardy, precocious and very productive, it has ripened in Ontario[183]. Nuts are fairly large with an excellent flavour. 'Voiles 2'. Usually ripens as far north as Ontario and New York[183]. The wind-blown pollen is a significant cause of hay fever in the Unitd States[274]. This species is the State Tree of Texas[274]. Plants are strongly tap-rooted and should be planted in their permanent positions as soon as possible[1, 137]. Sowing in situ would be the best method so long as the seed could be protected from mice[1, 200]. Trees are late coming into leaf (usually late May to June) and lose their leaves early in the autumn (usually in October)[137]. During this time they cast a heavy shade. These factors combine to make the trees eminently suitable for a mixed woodland planting with shrubs and other trees beneath them[137]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Most species in this genus have quite a wide range of distribution and, in order to find trees more suited to this country, seed from the most appropriate provenances should be sought[137]. Most trees growing in Britain at present tend to only produce good seed after hot summers[137]. Trees are self-fertile but larger crops of better quality seeds are produced if cross-pollination takes place[229]. Special Features:North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms. Carbon Farming - Climate: cold temperate subtropical, tropical highlands. Humidity: humid. Cultivation: global crop. Management: standard. Other Systems: strip intercrop. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 9 through 1. (Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. The Plant Heat Zone map is based on the number of "heat days" experienced in a given area where the temperature climbs to over 86 degrees F (30°C). At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 (no heat days) to 12 (210 or more heat days). For example Heat Zone. 11-1 indicates that the plant is heat tolerant in zones 11 through 1.) For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. The plant growth habit is a standard with a non-suckering single trunk [1-2]. The root pattern is a tap root similar to a carrot going directly down [1-2].

Carbon Farming

  • Global Crop  These crops are already grown or traded around the world. The annual value of each is more than $1 billion US Examples include coconuts, almonds, and bananas.
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Other Systems: Strip intercrop  Tree crops grown in rows with alternating annual crops.
  • Staple Crop: Oil  (0-15 percent protein, 16+ percent oil). Some of these are consumed whole while others are exclusively pressed for oil. Annuals include canola, poppyseed, maize, cottonseed, sunflower, peanut. Perennials include high-oil fruits, seeds, and nuts, such as olive, coconut, avocado, oil palm, shea, pecan, and macadamia. Some perennial oil crops are consumed whole as fruits and nuts, while others are exclusively pressed for oil (and some are used fresh and for oil).

Temperature Converter

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Propagation

Seed - requires a period of cold stratification. It is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe[78]. Stored seed should be kept moist (but not wet) prior to sowing and should be sown in a cold frame as soon as possible[78]. Where possible, sow 1 or 2 seeds only in each deep pot and thin to the best seedling. If you need to transplant the seedlings, then do this as soon as they are large enough to handle, once more using deep pots to accommodate the tap root. Put the plants into their permanent positions as soon as possible, preferably in their first summer, and give them some protection from the cold for at least the first winter[78, K]. Seed can also be sown in situ so long as protection is given from mice etc and the seed is given some protection from cold[200] (a plastic bottle with the top and bottom removed and a wire mesh top fitted to keep the mice out is ideal)

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

No

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

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Expert comment

Author

(Wangenh.)K.Koch.

Botanical References

1182200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

jerry l justice   Mon Jul 9 2007

is this tree self pollunate ---do i need another carya illinoinensis

Michelle H.   Tue Sep 18 2007

I have a pecan in my backyard...it's a very nice tree. Though I don't like the nuts.

ann   Sun Jan 6 2008

now, where can I find some for sale, is the question

Alex   Fri Jan 4 2008

A lot of Carya illinoensis (syn. C. illinoiensis?) cultivars are described here :

Pecan cultivars Pecan cultivars full description

Ken Fern, Plants for a Future   Tue Jan 8 2008

There are several nurseries that supply this plant. If you live in Britain or mainland Europe you could try visiting the Plantfinder site at http://www.rhs.org.uk/RHSPlantFinder/plantfinder.asp If you live elsewhere in the world then there are probably other websites that detail nurseries that sell the plant. In America, for example, you could visit http://plants.usda.gov/

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