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Carya cordiformis - (Wangenh.)K.Koch.
                 
Common Name Bitternut, Bitternut hickory, Swamp Hickory
Family Juglandaceae
USDA hardiness 4-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Low wet to dry woods, stream banks and borders of swamps[43, 82], tolerating a range of soils[229].
Range Eastern N. America - Maine to Quebec and south to Florida.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun

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

Carya cordiformis Bitternut, Bitternut hickory, Swamp Hickory


Carya cordiformis Bitternut, Bitternut hickory, Swamp Hickory
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of lolypop
Carya cordiformis is a deciduous Tree growing to 25 m (82ft) by 15 m (49ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in leaf 10-Jun It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are 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.

Synonyms

Habitats
Woodland Garden Canopy;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Oil;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Oil.

Seed - raw or cooked[161, 177]. Thin shelled but bitter and astringent[82, 183]. Even squirrels tend to pass it over[226]. The seed is about 3cm long[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].
Medicinal Uses


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Antirheumatic;  Diuretic;  Laxative.

The oil from the seeds has been used in the treatment of rheumatism[226]. The bark is diuretic and laxative[257].
Other Uses
Fuel;  Oil;  Rootstock;  Wood.

An oil expressed from the seeds has been used as an illuminant in oil lamps[229]. Often used as a potted stock for grafting varieties of pecans (C. illinoensis)[227]. Wood - heavy, very hard, strong, elastic, tough, close grained[82, 227, 229]. It weighs 47lb per cubic foot[227]. Although the wood tends to be brittle, it has an amazing quality of shock-resistance and is used for hoops, tool handles etc, though it is considered to be inferior to other hickories[82, 227, 229]. A very good fuel, burning well and giving off a lot of heat[229].
Cultivation details
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]. Slow growing[200]. This is the hardiest and best growing member of this genus in Britain[11], unfortunately the seed is bitter[82]. Hybridizes in the wild with C. illinoensis[43]. Hybridizes with other members of this genus[200]. 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.
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
Found In
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 NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Carya aquaticaWater Hickory10
Carya buckleyiBlack hickory20
Carya carolinae-septentrionalisSouthern Shagbark, Southern shagbark hickory20
Carya cathayensisChinese Hickory30
Carya floridanaScrub Hickory20
Carya glabraSweet Pignut, Pignut hickory, Broom Hickory, Pignut Hickory30
Carya glabra megacarpaCoastal Pignut Hickory30
Carya illinoinensisPecan41
Carya laciniosaShellbark Hickory31
Carya myristiciformisNutmeg Hickory20
Carya ovalisSweet Pignut30
Carya ovataShagbark Hickory31
Carya pallidaSand Hickory31
Carya texanaBlack Hickory20
Carya tomentosaMockernut,White Heart Hickory, Mockernut Hickory31
Carya x laneyi 30
Platycarya strobilacea 10
Pterocarya fraxinifoliaCaucasian Wingnut11
Pterocarya rhoifoliaJapanese Wingnut10
Pterocarya stenopteraChinese wingnut02
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Expert comment
 
Author
(Wangenh.)K.Koch.
Botanical References
1143200
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
Duane Thu Mar 31 20:44:02 2005
it tastes bitter.... and it kind of tastes like peanuts but bitter peanuts....which makes it not good

Link: home dog its kind of good

Elizabeth H.
vern wayne borson Thu Mar 31 20:51:02 2005
tastes like chicken but bitter at that

Link: home cat mmmm

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Subject : Carya cordiformis  

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