Carya myristiciformis (Nutmeg Hickory)

Botanical Name : Carya myristiciformis
Family: Juglandaceae
Genus: Carya
Species: C. myristiciformis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Common Name : Nutmeg Hickory (No racial varieties or hybrids have been reported for nutmeg hickory.), Swamp hickory or Bitter water hickory

Habitat: Carya myristiciformis is native to Southern United States and in northern Mexico. It grows on rich moist soils of higher bottom lands and stream banks.

Description:
Carya myristiciformis is a deciduous medium-sized tree with a tall, straight trunk and stout, slightly spreading branches that form a narrow and rather open crown. It can attain heights of 24 to 30 in (80 to 100 ft) and a diameter of 61 cm (24 in). Although the pecan hickories (which include nutmeg hickory) grow more rapidly than the true hickories, specific information on the growth rate of nutmeg hickory is lacking. The pecan hickories, in turn, grow more slowly than most other bottom-land hardwoods. The average 10-year diameter increase for hickories in natural, unmanaged stands in the northeast Louisiana delta was 4.3 cm (1.7 in) in the 15- to 30-cm (6- to 12-in) diameter class; 3.3 cm (1.3 in) in the 33- to 48-cm (13- to 19-in) diameter class; and 3.8 cm (1.5 in) in the 51- to 71-cm (20- to 28-in) diameter class.

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It is in leaf 10-Jun It is in flower from Apr to May. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.The plant is self-fertile.

Cultivation :
Prefers a deep moisture-retentive loam in a sunny sheltered position, requiring a good summer for best development. Slow growing. Trees are said to only be hardy to zone 9, but there is a good specimen growing outdoors at Kew which is in zone 7. Most species in this genus have quite a wide range of distribution and, in order to find trees more suited to this country, seed from the most appropriate provenances should be sought. Most trees growing in Britain at present tend to only produce good seed after hot summers. Trees are self-fertile but larger crops of better quality seeds are produced if cross-pollination takes place. Large seed crops are produced every 2 – 3 years in the wild. Plants are strongly tap-rooted and should be planted in their permanent positions as soon as possible. Sowing in situ would be the best method so long as the seed could be protected from mice. Trees are late coming into leaf (usually late May to June) and lose their leaves early in the autumn (usually in October). During this time they cast a heavy shade. These factors combine to make the trees eminently suitable for a mixed woodland planting with shrubs and other trees beneath them. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – requires a period of cold stratification. It is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Stored seed should be kept moist (but not wet) prior to sowing and should be sown in a cold frame as soon as possible. Where possible, sow 1 or 2 seeds only in each deep pot and thin to the best seedling. If you need to transplant the seedlings, then do this as soon as they are large enough to handle, once more using deep pots to accommodate the tap root. Put the plants into their permanent positions as soon as possible, preferably in their first summer, and give them some protection from the cold for at least the first winter. Seed can also be sown in situ so long as protection is given from mice etc and the seed is given some protection from cold (a plastic bottle with the top and bottom removed and a wire mesh top fitted to keep the mice out
Edible Uses: .….Seed – raw or cooked. Sweet, but with a thick shell. The seed is up to 3cm in diameter. The seed ripens in late autumn and, when stored in its shell in a cool place, will keep for at least 6 months.

Medicinal Uses: No known medicinal uses are found in the internet
Other Uses: …..Fuel; Wood…….Wood – hard, very strong, tough, close grained. A good fuel, burning well with a lot of heat.

The nuts of nutmeg hickory are relished by squirrels, which begin cutting them while they are still green. Other rodents and wildlife also eat the nuts. The species is too rare over most of its range to be of major economic importance. The wood of this pecan hickory is slightly inferior in strength and toughness to that of the true or upland hickories, but owing to the small volumes involved and difficulty of distinguishing it from the true hickories, nutmeg hickory is not separated from them during logging.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carya_myristiciformis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Carya+myristiciformis

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