Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata)
- Family: Walnut (Juglandaceae)
- Flowering: April-May.
- Field Marks: This hickory differs from all others by its shaggy bark and usually 5 leaflets per leaf.
- Habitat: Woods, both moist and dry, along streams.
- Habit: Tree up to 80 feet tall, with a rounded crown.
- Bark: Gray, separating into long, shreddy scales, giving the trunk a shaggy appearance.
- Leaves: Alternate, pinnately compound, with 5, or sometimes 7 leaflets; the leaflets ovate or obovate, tapering to a short point at the tip, tapering to the base, finely toothed, smooth or hairy, up to 10 inches long, and up to 5 inches broad.
- Flowers: Male and female flowers borne separately but on the same plant, appearing after the leaves have begun to unfold; the male flowers in slender, drooping spikes; the female flowers in clusters of 2-5.
- Sepals: 4, minute.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3-10.
- Pistils: Styles usually 4.
- Fruits: Usually spherical, up to 2 inches across; the husk yellow-green to red-brown, up to 1/2 inch thick, splitting all the way to the base; the nut 4-angled.
- Notes: The kernels of the nuts are extremely tasty.
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