- Major entries:
- Carya alba Nutt. Shagbark Hickory. Shellbark Hickory.
- Carya olivaeformis Nutt. Pecan.
North America. In 1773, at an Indian village in the South, Bartram noticed a cultivated plantation of the shellbark hickory, the trees thriving and bearing better than those left to nature. Emerson says this tree ought to be cultivated for its nuts which differ exceedingly in different soils and situations and often on individual trees growing in immediate proximity. In 1775, Romans speaks of the Florida Indians using hickory nuts in plenty and making a milky liquor of them, which they called milk of nuts. He says: "This milk they are very fond of and eat it with sweet potatoes in it." The hickory nut now not only furnishes food to a large number of the Indians of the far West but is an important article in our markets and is even exported to Britain.
Carya microcarpa Nutt. Small-Fruited Hickory.
Eastern North America. The nuts are edible but not prized.
A slender tree of eastern North America from Illinois southward. The delicious pecan is well known in our markets and is exported to Europe. It was eaten by the Indians and called by them pecaunes, and an oil expressed from it was used by the natives of Louisiana to season their food. Its use at or near Madrid on the Mississippi by the Indians is mentioned in the Portuguese Relation of De Soto's expedition. The pecan is now extensively cultivated in the Southern States for its fruit.
Carya porcina Nutt. Broom Hickory. Pignut.
North America. The pignut is a large tree of Eastern United States. The nuts are variable in form, hard and tough, the kernel sweetish or bitterish but occasionally eaten by children.
Carya sulcata Nutt. Big Shellbark. King Nut.
Pennsylvania to Illinois and Kentucky. The nuts of this tree are eaten by the Indians and are considered of fine quality. This is one of the species recommended for culture by the American Pomological Society.
Carya tomentosa Nutt. Mocker Nut. Square Nut. White-Heart Hickory.
Eastern North America. This hickory bears a nut with a very thick and hard shell. The kernel is sweet and in some varieties is as large as in the shellbark, but the difficulty of extracting it makes it far less valuable. A variety is found with prominent angles, called square nut.