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PlantFiles: Pignut Hickory
Carya glabra

Family: Juglandaceae (joo-glan-DAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Carya (KAIR-yuh) (Info)
Species: glabra (GLAY-bruh) (Info)

Synonym:Carya porcina

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

6 members have or want this plant for trade.

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over 40 ft. (12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring

Good Fall Color

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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By Floridian
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By melody
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There are a total of 19 photos.
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2 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Rickwebb On Dec 20, 2013, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

A handsome tree I've seen growing in upland woods. Native from central MI to central FL, from MO & ILL to New England and the Atlantic Coast. Slow growing about 6 to 8"/yr and living to about 300 years. Develops good golden fall color like other hickory. Develops a big taproot. It is offered by some native plant nurseries in containers.

Positive melody On Nov 12, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

One of the most visible trees along the roadsides in Autumn. The Pignut hickory has an intense color that sets it apart from the rest of the forest. The vibrant mustard colored leaves look almost electric.

I'm not sure that one would be a good choice for a small property as the leaves and nuts can get pretty messy as they fall, but for larger areas, one could be stunning if it were set away from gutters and walkways.

Neutral smiln32 On Nov 9, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This tree grows well in fairly rich, well drained to dry soils. It is native from Maine to Florida.

The gray bark, sometimes smooth, may be marked in a sort of diamond pattern by shallow furrows and narrow ridges. Wood is great for smoking meat.

It does not transplant easily as it has a large taproot.

Fall color is very pretty with yellow leaves. Prefers full sun to partial shade.

Neutral suncatcheracres On Aug 29, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

The pignut is also called the redheart hickory, and grows throughout the Southeastern USA. The tree is usually about 60 to 80 feet tall, but can grow to over 100 feet in ideal conditions. It has five leaflets and the outer husk of the nut is thin. The nuts are small, unridged, and often bitter. Unfortunately I believe I have several of these trees growing on my property, as I would far rather have the better tasting shagbark (C. ovata) or shellbark (C. laciniosa).

The Indians used hickory wood for their bows and for handles for tools, as did the early settlers.

Neutral Terry On Aug 28, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

So named because pigs are often allowed to forage for the bitter nuts as they fall to the ground.

Native Americans leached out the bitter compounds, then ground the nuts into a meal or flour. The hardwood, like most hickories, is suitable for tool handles and cabinetry, although its use is declining.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Gaylesville, Alabama
Winterthur, Delaware
Bartow, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Tunnel Hill, Illinois
Benton, Kentucky
Mandeville, Louisiana
Glouster, Ohio
West Chester, Pennsylvania
North Augusta, South Carolina

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