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House with native plants and animalsGoing Native: Urban Landscaping for Wildlife with Native Plants
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Pignut Hickory (Carya glabra)

Pignut Hickory is a deciduous tree that may grow 80 to 90 feet tall. The leaves are alternate and pinnately compound with 5 (rarely 7) leaflets. The bark on young trees is smooth with shallow cracks. As the tree ages, the bark develops flat, sharp-edged ridges that form diamond and x-patterns. Very short, yellow-green, slim, cylindrical flowers cluster mature at the end of branches in spring. The tree produces a nut which matures in the fall.


Host plant for Banded Hairstreak butterfly and many moths. Nuts are eaten by squirrels, chipmunks, black bears, deer, foxes, mice, wood ducks, and wild turkeys.

Plant Type Tree >30 feet
Leaf Type Deciduous
Deer Resistance Moderate
Regions Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal Plain
Light Full Sun, Partial Sun/Shade, Full Shade
Soil Dry
Bloom Times Spring
Seed Times Fall
Wildlife Value Seed or Nut, Butterfly Larvae Host
NC Forest ServiceNC Cooperative Extension