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Florida 4-H Forest Ecology

Florida 4-H Forest Ecology


Carya illinoinensis
Family: Juglandaceae

Natural History

Leaves and fruit of pecan | Photo credit: Larry Korhnak, University of Florida

Pecan trees are most widely known for their sweet, edible nuts, which are cultivated for commercial resources throughout much of the southeastern United States. There are about 25 other species of hickories - all native to eastern North American or southeastern China.

The pecan is one of very few North American plants to have been domesticated and developed into a commercial crop. It is certainly the most valuable and the most widely grown. There exist more than 500 different cultivar varieties of pecans.

Mature trees can produce 400 to 1000 pounds of nuts per year. Outside of the United States, pecans are also grown commercially in France, Spain, Israel, South Africa, and Australia.

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