Bitternut Hickory Carya cordiformis (Wangenheim) K. Koch    Synonyms: Hicoria cordiformis, Hicoria minima.
Kingdom Plantae   >   Division Tracheophyta   >   Class Magnoliopsida   >   Order Juglandales   >   Family Juglandaceae   >   Genus Carya   

Description:

The four wings on the fruit of Bitternut Hickory are diagnostic, as are the long, yellow, flamelike endbuds. The fruit is small and rounded, nearly globose or somewhat flattened, with a very thin husk. The leaflets are numerous, usually nine (but can be seven or eleven).

Where to find:

Occurs mostly in moist woods or wet bottomlands. It is present throughout the state, but is most common in the midland counties (Brown and Brown, 1972).

Relationships:

Host plant for various moth species including Luna Moth, American Dagger Moth and Pecan Leafminer Moth (Database of World's Lepidopteran Host Plants).

The nuts are so bitter that even squirrels usually avoid them.

There are 117 records in the project database.

View at Maryland Plant Atlas

Search Flora of North America

Search Mid-Atlantic Herbaria Consortium

Search Norton-Brown Herbarium

View taxon at iNaturalist

View taxon at NatureServe

Search Google Images

Search MBP Facebook posts (beta | requires login)


[View seasonality details]
GA ALWA FR CL MO HO BA BC HA CE PG AA CV CH SM KE QA CN TA DO WI SOWO
Bitternut Hickory in Caroline Co., Maryland (3/23/2013). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

Bitternut Hickory in Cecil Co., Maryland (6/3/2017). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

Bitternut Hickory in Queen Anne's Co., Maryland (8/13/2019). Note the four wings towards the tip of the fruit. Photo by Wayne Longbottom. (MBP list)

The leaf and fruit of Bitternut Hickory in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (9/4/2012). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Bitternut Hickory twig, showing characteristic, long yellow endbud, in Middlesex Co., New Jersey (12/22/2012). Photo by John Beetham. (MBP list)

Bitternut Hickory, showing characteristic,long yellow buds at ends of twig, in Montgomery Co., Maryland (9/2/2016). Photo by Jane Hill. (MBP list)

Bitternut Hickory, with characteristic fall foliage, in Montgomery Co., Maryland (11/6/2015). Photo by Rod Simmons. (MBP list)

Bitternut Hickory (trunk) in Howard Co., Maryland (2/11/2017). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Bitternut Hickory fruit in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (9/4/2012). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Bitternut Hickory in Montgomery Co., Maryland (9/23/2017). Photo by Jane Hill. (MBP list)

Bitternut Hickory seedling in Montgomery Co., Maryland (10/15/2017). Note long, slender, yellowish end bud characteristic of this species. Photo by Jane Hill. (MBP list)


View All Images

Use of images featured on Maryland Biodiversity Project is only permitted with express permission of the photographer.