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any plant of the genus Carya of the family Juglandaceae (walnut family); deciduous nut-bearing trees native to E North America and south to Central America except for a few species found in SE Asia. The pecan (C.
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(Carya illinoensis, formerly known as C. olivaeformis or C. pecan), a tree of the family Juglandaceae. The trunk grows to a height of 50 m and a diameter of 2–2.5 m. The bark is deeply furrowed. The leaves, which are alternate, large, and odd pinnate, consist of 11 to 17 oblong-lanceolate serrate leaflets. The staminate flowers are in pendulous multiflorous, three-branched catkins, which are on shoots from the previous year. Two to 12 pistillate flowers develop on the ends of the young shoots. The fruit is a nut, which is 3.5–8 cm long and has a fleshy, leathery husk. Upon ripening, the husk becomes woody and separates into four valves. The seeds are edible and contain up to 70 percent oil.
The pecan grows in southeastern North America in forests and river valleys. It has long been cultivated for its nuts. In the USSR the tree is raised in the Caucasus and, less often, in the Ukraine and Middle Asia.
REFERENCESDerev’ia i kustarniki SSSR, vol. 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1951.
Orekhoplodnye drevesnye porody. Moscow, 1969.