Mockernut White-heart Hickory Walnut
Habitat and Range.--In various soils; woods, dry, rocky ridges, mountain
Niagara peninsula and westward.
Maine and Vermont,--not reported; New Hampshire,--sparingly along the
coast; Massachusetts,--rather common eastward; Rhode Island and
South to Florida, ascending 3500 feet in Virginia; west to Kansas,
Indian territory, and Texas.
=Habit.=--A tall and rather slender tree, 50-70 feet high, with a
diameter above the swell of the roots of 2-3 feet; attaining much
greater dimensions south and west; trunk erect, not shaggy, separating
into a few rather large limbs and sending out its upper branches at a
sharp angle, forming a handsome, wide-spreading, pyramidal head.
=Bark.=--Bark of trunk dark gray, thick, hard, close, and rough,
becoming narrow-rugged-furrowed; crinkly on small trunks and branches;
leaf-scars prominent; season's shoots stout, brown, downy or dusty
puberulent, dotted, resinous-scented.
=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Buds large, yellowish-brown, ovate, downy.
Leaves pinnately compound, alternate, 15-20 inches long; rachis large,
downy, swollen at the base; stipules none; leaflets 7-9, opposite,
large, yellowish-green and smooth above, beneath paler and thick-downy,
at least when young, turning to a clear yellow or russet brown in
autumn, the three upper obovate, the two lower ovate, all the leaflets
slightly serrate or entire, pointed, base acute to rounded, nearly
sessile except the odd one. Aromatic when bruised.
=Inflorescence.=--May. Sterile and fertile flowers on the same tree,
appearing when the leaves are fully grown,--sterile at the base of the
season's shoots, in slender, pendulous, downy catkins, 4-8 inches long,
usually in threes, branching umbel-like from a common peduncle; scales
3-lobed, hairy; calyx adnate; stamens 4 or 5, anthers red, bearded at
the tip: fertile flowers on peduncles at the end of the season's shoots;
calyx toothed, hairy, adherent to ovary; corolla none; stigmas 2, hairy.
=Fruit.=--October. Generally sessile on terminal peduncles, single or in
pairs, as large or larger than the fruit of the shagbark, or as small as
that of the pignut, oblong-globose to globose: husk hard and thick,
separating in 4 segments nearly to the base, strong-scented: nut
globular, 4-ridged near the top, thick-shelled: kernel usually small,
sweet, edible. The superior size of the fruit and the smallness of the
kernel probably give rise to the common name, mockernut.
=Horticultural Value.=--Hardy throughout New England; prefers a rich,
well-drained soil, but grows well in rocky, ledgy, exposed
situations, and is seldom disfigured by insect enemies. Young trees have
large, deep roots, and are difficult to transplant successfully unless
they have been frequently transplanted in nurseries, from which,
however, they are seldom obtainable. Propagated from seed.
1. Winter buds.
2. Flowering branch.
3. Sterile flower, front view.
4. Sterile flower, side view.
5. Sterile flower, top view.
6. Fertile flower, side view.
7. Fruiting branch.
=Carya porcina, Nutt.=
Hicoria glabra, Britton.