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Water hickory
Carya aquatica

Copyright by: Susan Trammell

General Landscape Uses: Canopy tree along canal banks and swales.

Availability: Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.

Description: Medium to large tree with an erect trunk and a narrow, rounded crown. Trunks to 2 feet in diameter, but usually much smaller in South Florida. Bark loose, brown, separating into plate-like scales. Leaves deciduous, compound, about 9-15 inches long, thin, dark green.

Dimensions: Typically 25-50 feet in height in South Florida; to 150 feet in Florida. Taller than broad.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Southern and central United States west to Texas and south to Palm Beach, Hendry and Lee counties. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Floodplain forests.

Soils: Wet to moist, seasonally inundated organic soils.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate to high; grows best with some organic content and may languish in nutrient poor soils.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.

Drought Tolerance: Low; requires moist to wet soils and is intolerant of long periods of drought.

Light Requirements: Light shade to full sun.

Flower Color: Greenish.

Flower Characteristics: Male flowers in semi-showy hanging catkins.

Flowering Season: Spring.

Fruit: Nut.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides significant food and cover for wildlife.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from stratified seed, sown in spring.

Copyright by: Susan Trammell

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Other data on Carya aquatica available from:

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