Hickory Tree Names and Types of Carya Species

Picture of a Hickory Tree
The Pecan Hickory (Carya illinoinensis or illinoenses)
The Pecan Hickory

(Carya illinoinensis or illinoenses)

Carya trees, commonly known as Hickory trees are deciduous trees, rarely shrubs, 3m to 52m in height. There are 23 taxa of trees in the genus Carya and 9 Hickory hybrids. The name Carya is from the Ancient Greek word κάρυον for "nut".

Hickory Wood;

The wood of Hickory tree species is extremely tough and flexible, and is used for golf club shafts, walking sticks, drumsticks, tool handles, bows, wheel spokes, carts, ski bottoms, lacrosse stick handles, sometimes still called a Hickory stick, even though made of steel or graphite. Hickory is sometimes used for wood flooring because of its characteristics and strength.

Hickory wood is also preferably used for wood burning stoves, because of its high energy (heat) content. Hickory wood is also used for smoke curing meats, like Hickory smoked bacon, or beef. In the United States, Hickory is used in barbecue cooking because the smoke from the burning wood adds the popular "Hickory" flavor to the meat.

Hickory or Pecan Nuts;

The nuts of some Hickory species are edible, while others are bitter in taste, and used only for animal feed. The Shagbark, Pecan and Shellbark Hickory trees produce nuts that are widely eaten. When propagating Hickory trees for their fruit, or nuts, two (2) or more cultivars must be planted together for successful pollination. This is due to their self-incompatibility, and so cloned or grafted trees of the same cultivar cannot pollinate each other. Seedlings grown from Hickory nuts will usually have sufficient genetic variation to cross pollinate each other.

Facts about types of Hickory Trees of the Carya Genus
  • Genus Latin Scientific Name = Carya, (syn. Hicoria)
  • Genus Latin Name Pronunciation: KAIR-yuh
  • Genus Latin Name Meaning: The Greek name for Walnut; In Greek mythology, Carya (daughter of King of Laconia) was changed into a Walnut tree.
  • Genus Common Names = Hickory. List of Hickory (Carya) Vernacular Names. The tree name Hickory is derived from the native Powhatan language of Virginia, U.S.A.
  • Number of Taxa in the Carya Genus = 23
  • Hybrids = 9, List of Hickory hybrids
List of Hickory Trees, Carya Genus - All known species, taxa types, organized by scientific Latin botanical name first and common names second
List of Hickory Tree Names
Botanical Tree NameCommon Tree Name
Carya alba (syn. Carya tomentosa)Mockernut Hickory, White Hickory, Whiteheart Hickory, Hognut, Bullnut, Mockernut Tree
Carya aquaticaWater Hickory, Bitter Pecan
Carya cathayensis (syn. Carya dabieshanensis)Chinese Hickory, Dabie Shan Hickory
Carya cordiformisBitternut Hickory, Swamp Hickory
Carya floridanaScrub Hickory
Carya glabraPignut Hickory, Pignut, Coast Pignut Hickory, Sweet Pignut, Broom Hickory, Smoothbark Hickory, Swamp Hickory
Carya hunanensisHunan Hickory
Carya illinoinensis (syn. C. illinoenses)Pecan Tree
Carya kweichowensisGuizhou Hickory
Carya laciniosaShellbark Hickory, Shagbark Hickory, Kingnut, Bigleaf Shagbark Hickory, Big Shellbark, Bottom Shellbark, Thick Shellbark, Western Shellbark
Carya myristiciformisNutmeg Hickory, Bitter Water Hickory, Swamp Hickory
Carya ovalis (Possibly a synonym of Carya glabra var. odorata)Red Hickory, Spicebark Hickory, Sweet Pignut Hickory
Carya ovataShagbark Hickory
Carya ovata var. australis (syn. Carya carolinae-septentrionalis)Southern Shagbark Hickory, Carolina Hickory
Carya ovata var. ovataNorthern Shagbark Hickory
Carya pallidaSand Hickory
Carya palmeriMexican Hickory
Carya poilaneiPoilane's Hickory
Carya sinensis (syn. Annamocarya sinensis)Beaked Hickory
Carya texana (syn. Carya buckleyi, Carya arkansana)Black Hickory
Carya tonkinensisVietnamese Hickory

List last updated on 2015-06-19

List of Hickory Hybrids

  • Carya ×brownii
  • Carya ×collina
  • Carya ×demareei
  • Carya ×dunbarii
  • Carya ×laneyi
  • Carya ×lecontei
  • Carya ×ludoviciana
  • Carya ×nussbaumeri
  • Carya ×schneckii

List of Hickory Vernacular Names

dansk: Hickory
English: Hickory
norsk (bokmål)‎: Hickory
polski: Orzesznik
suomi: Hikkorit
svenska: Hickory