Kentucky Nature Preserves Rare Plants

Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission

Water Hickory
Carya aquatica
Family: Juglandaceae

Protection Status:
State Status:  T
USFWS Status: {null}

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S2S3

Bottomlands and floodplain swamps.

Species Description:

Flowering Period: Early April to late May.
Fruiting Period: Early October to late October.

Additional Information at NatureServe

Diagnostic Characteristics:
Occurs in habitats that have standing water a portion of the year. The nut is flattened and strongly wrinkled with the husk splitting to the base. Buds are brown (rather than yellow in C. cordiformis). There are most often 9 leaflets that are strongly falcate; the bark separates in long scales. Without flowers or nuts, distinction of C. aquatica from C. illinoensis is sometimes difficult. Its leaflets tend to be fewer (usually 7-13 versus 9-19), on shorter petiolules (0-2 mm versus 0-7 mm in laterals), less clearly serrate (versus often double-serrate), with less branched secondary veins (about 1 per tooth versus 1 per 2-3 teeth), and more villous below along veins (Campbell, 2012).

Avoid changes in moisture/hydrologic conditions at the site. Changes could result from overstory removal, stream/wetland alteration or impacts due to erosion.

Global Range:

Known Kentucky Occurrences:

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Data last updated: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission
801 Teton Trail
Frankfort,KY 40601
Phone: (502) 573-2886
Fax: (502) 573-2355
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