Water Hickory (Bitter Pecan)
Medium to large tree with a long, clear trunk, buttressed base and narrow, irregular crown.
Leaves alternate, feather-compound, 9-15 inches long, with 7-15 leaflets; leaflets lance- to egg-shaped, curved, 2-5 inches long, with long-pointed tip; margins finely to inconspicuously toothed. Upper surface dark, smooth; lower surface hairy, especially along veins and stalk. Yellow in fall.
Bark gray-brown, often red-tinged, splitting into long, loose, platelike shaggy scales, brittle.
Twigs slender, red-brown or gray, hairy, end bud slightly flattened, covered with tiny yellow scales.
Flowers April-May; male and female flowers separate on same tree; male catkins hairy, solitary or in threes; female flowers 2-6 per spike.
Fruits September-October, pear- to egg-shaped nuts, often clustered, 1-1½ inches long, 1 inch wide, noticeably flattened compared to other hickory nuts, with a thin, 4-winged husk having bright yellow scales, splitting at the base. Nuts flat, reddish, bitter.