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Juglandaceae Carya illinoinensis (Wangh.) K. Koch

Source: Magness et al. 1971

The pecan is a large tree, up to 100 feet in height, and with trunk diameter up to 6 feet. It is native in the lower Mississippi Valley and westward through Texas, and in northern Mexico. Leaves are large and compound, with a dozen or more long-oval, near glabrous leaflets. The fruits are generally oval, up to 2.5 inches long, and fairly smooth. The outer husk is fleshy early, becoming fibrous and splitting open at maturity. The shells are relatively thin, hard and woody. The kernel separates rather readily. Improved varieties are widely cultivated. In addition, large quantities are harvested from native trees.

Season, bloom to harvest: 5 to 6 months.

Production in the U.S.: About 200,000 tons, in shell.

Use: Direct eating, confections, ice cream, cookery.

Part of plant consumed: Internal kernels only.

Last update February 18, 1999 by ch