Carya ovalis (Wangenh.) Sarg.

Locations ofCarya ovalis (Wangenh.) Sarg. in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Carya ovalis (Wangenh.) Sarg.
Common Name
Red Hickory, Sweet Pignut Hickory
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Carya ovalis (Wangenh.) Sarg.
Carya ovalis is extremely variable in bark characteristics, number of leaflets, fruit size, and fruit shape and may be difficult to distinguish from Carya glabra (and occasionally C. ovata) in the field or herbarium. Populations in the mountains and inner Piedmont foothills usually have petioles (often red-tinged) and lower leaf surfaces that are entirely glabrous (vs. sparsely to densely pubescent in C. glabra). A number of infraspecific segregates of C. ovalis have been proposed, but their validity needs much more assessment.
Mesic to dry upland forests and woodlands; tolerates a wide range of soil conditions, but most important and numerous in moderately to strongly base-rich soils and in montane oak-hickory forests; ascends to at least 1260 m (4150 ft) elevation in the mountains. Common in the mountains and inner Piedmont; frequent in the outer Piedmont; infrequent in the Coastal Plain. The current map does not adequately reflect the frequency of this species, especially in the western half of the state; herbarium specimens labeled "Carya glabra" need critical evaluation.
Native Status

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