Please donate to support our ‘Plants to Save the Planet’ Project. The Project is directed at enabling designers of ‘carbon farms’ and ‘food forests’: agroecosystems of perennial plants, to choose the most appropriate plants for their requirements and site conditions. We are working on a subset of plants in the PFAF database identified as having the most potential for inclusion in such designs. We are adding search terms and icons to those plants pages, and providing a range of search options aligned to categories of plants and crop yields, with Help facilities including videos. More >>>

Follow Us:

 

Carya laciniosa - (F.Michx.)Loudon.

Common Name Shellbark Hickory
Family Juglandaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Deep rich soils of floodplains and bottomlands[43, 62]. It grows best on neutral or slightly alkaline soils and tolerates shallow flooding in early spring[229].
Range Eastern N. America - New York and Pennsylvania to Indiana, Iowa and Kansas.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Carya laciniosa Shellbark Hickory


USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
Carya laciniosa Shellbark Hickory
USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA NRCS. Wetland flora: Field office illustrated guide to plant species. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

 

Translate this page:

Summary

Bloom Color: Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Oval, Rounded.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Carya laciniosa is a deciduous Tree growing to 30 m (98ft 5in) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in leaf from June to October, in flower from April to May, and the seeds ripen from September to 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. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

C. sulcata. Juglans laciniosa.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Sap  Seed
Edible Uses: Sweetener

Seed - raw or cooked in pies, cakes etc[183]. Sweet, with a very fine flavour[183], it has the largest seeds of the hickories[227], up to 5cm long[229]. Probably the finest flavoured hickory[117]. The shell is hard and thick[101, 117] and the cracking quality is poor compared to C. ovata[183]. The seed ripens in late autumn and, when stored in its shell in a cool place, will keep for at least 6 months[K]. Sap - a sweet flavour[62]. Tapped in spring, it can be boiled down to a syrup or sugar and be used in similar ways to maple syrup[101, 183].

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  Detergent

The inner bark is astringent and detergent[257]. It has been used as a dressing for cuts and has been chewed to treat sore mouths[257].

Our new book Edible Shrubs is now available.

Edible Shrubs provides detailed information, attractively presented, on over 70 shrub species. They have been selected to provide a mix of different plant sizes and growing conditions. Most provide delicious and nutritious fruit, but many also have edible leaves, seeds, flowers, stems or roots, or they yield edible or useful oil.

Read More

Edible Shrubs Book

Other Uses

Fuel  Wood

Wood - close-grained, tough, hard, heavy, elastic, very flexible. It weighs 50 lb. per cubic foot. An excellent wood, it is used for tool handles, baskets, fuel etc[46, 61, 63, 82, 226, 227]. 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

Management: Standard  Regional Crop  Staple Crop: Oil

Landscape Uses:Pest tolerant, 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]. A very ornamental but slow growing tree[1], it is sometimes cultivated for its edible seed, and is also sold in local markets in N. America[82]. There are some named varieties[183] though some of these are likely to be hybrids. 'Fayette' is a thin shelled form[200]. 'Henry' has a very large nut[200]. Trees have been planted on an experimental scale in Germany for their wood[50]. Hybridizes in the wild with C. ovata[227]. Trees take up to 15 years from seed to bear fruit[117]. 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, Wetlands plant, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 9 through 4. (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

  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Regional Crop  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally, Examples in this broad category include perennial cottons and many nuts and staple fruits.
  • 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

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

Fahrenheit:

image

The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now

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.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Carya aquaticaWater HickoryTree20.0 5-9 SLMHNM10 
Carya buckleyiBlack hickoryTree10.0 5-9 SLMHNM20 
Carya carolinae-septentrionalisSouthern Shagbark, Southern shagbark hickoryTree20.0 0-0 SLMHNM20 
Carya cathayensisChinese HickoryTree18.0 5-9 SLMHNM303
Carya cordiformisBitternut, Bitternut hickory, Swamp HickoryTree25.0 4-9 SLMHNM31 
Carya floridanaScrub HickoryTree20.0 -  LMHNDM20 
Carya glabraSweet Pignut, Pignut hickory, Broom Hickory, Pignut HickoryTree30.0 4-9 SLMHNDM30 
Carya glabra megacarpaCoastal Pignut HickoryTree30.0 4-8 SLMHNM30 
Carya hybridsHybrid and neohybrid hickoriesTree40.0 4-11 MLMHNDM433
Carya illinoinensisPecanTree50.0 5-9 MLMHNM412
Carya myristiciformisNutmeg HickoryTree30.0 8-11 SLMHNM20 
Carya ovalisSweet PignutTree30.0 5-9 SLMHNM30 
Carya ovataShagbark HickoryTree30.0 4-8 SLMHNDM314
Carya pallidaSand HickoryTree30.0 5-9 SLMHNM31 
Carya texanaBlack HickoryTree15.0 5-9 SLMHNM20 
Carya tomentosaMockernut,White Heart Hickory, Mockernut HickoryTree30.0 4-9 MLMHNDM31 
Carya x laneyi Tree20.0 4-8 SLMHNM30 
Platycarya strobilacea Tree12.0 6-9  LMHSNM10 
Pterocarya fraxinifoliaCaucasian WingnutTree30.0 6-9  MHNM11 
Pterocarya rhoifoliaJapanese WingnutTree30.0 5-9  MHNM10 
Pterocarya stenopteraChinese wingnutTree20.0 6-9  MHNM02 
Sclerocarya birreaMarulaTree13.0 10-12 FLMHNDM332

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment

Author

(F.Michx.)Loudon.

Botanical References

1143200

Links / References

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

Readers comment

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.

2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.

3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Carya laciniosa  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified (but some can). Please view the copyright link for more information.
Web Design & Management