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Pyrularia pubera - Michx.
Common Name Oil Nut, Buffalo nut
Family Santalaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards The whole plant, especially the fruit, contains an acrid poisonous oil[43].
Habitats Rich woods[235], where it is parasitic on the roots of deciduous trees and shrubs[43], most commonly on Tsuga carolina[1].
Range Eastern N. America - W. Vancouver to Alabama.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade


Pyrularia pubera Oil Nut, Buffalo nut

USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 1
Pyrularia pubera Oil Nut, Buffalo nut
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of shrub
Pyrularia pubera is a deciduous Shrub growing to 3.5 m (11ft 6in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in flower from May to June. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.


Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit;  Oil.
Edible Uses: Oil.

Fruit[2, 46, 61]. Caution is advised since the fruit is said to be permeated with an acrid oil[1, 43]. The pear-shaped fruit is about 25mm long[200]. An edible oil is obtained from the seed[105]. Is this different from the acrid poisonous oil of the fruit?[K]
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.

Emetic;  Salve.

The plant has been used as a salve on old sores[257]. The seed has been chewed to cause vomiting in the treatment of colic[257].
Other Uses

None known
Cultivation details
Parasitic on the roots of a range of trees and shrubs, but most commonly Tsuga carolina, this plant needs to grow close to a host tree. It requires a well-drained but moisture retentive lime-free soil[200].
Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe into a pot containing a small host tree. Stored seed will require 3 months cold stratification before it is sown[200]. Grow on in a cold frame until the plant is large enough to plant out and then plant it close to a mature host tree. Remove the small host tree once the plant is well established[200].
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


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Botanical References
Links / References
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Readers comment
B Joyner   Sun Jan 9 09:55:52 2005
It's true it prospers in woodlands with Tsuga Carolina (hemlock)--This plant is extremely invasive and must be fought or it will take over your woods.
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Subject : Pyrularia pubera  

Plant Uses

Edible Uses
Medicinal Uses
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