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Thread: it look like a lime but smells extremely strong

  1. #1
    Member feral chef's Avatar
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    Default it look like a lime but smells extremely strong

    anybody know what thios is i have it growing in my backyard


    3732560568_e2061b6808_z.jpg


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    Did you notice what the flowers looked like when they were in bloom.
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    The nuts are really sticky and have a strong 'green hickory' smell to them?

    Could be what we call a pignut. Looks like one of the butternut/Black walnut type trees. Beware of common names. There is one edible pignut and an inedible one... We always called the inedible one a bitternut.

    Pain in the *** to crack open.
    Get yourself a good key. It is either a Carya sp or a Juglans sp.
    Last edited by LowKey; 08-13-2011 at 09:43 PM.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    It's actually called Bitternut Hickory around here. I know what they look like but nothing else about them. I've never eaten any. The name always put me off.

  5. #5

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    Depends on how many leaflets it has.
    The following is condensed from the book Plants in the Vicinity of New York by H.A. Gleason, PhD
    (A book I highly highly recommend for anyone in the New England area and slightly west of NY state. Not too far south though.)

    11-23 leaflets on a rachis
    a. Twig pith light brown to cream color, Fruit and nut a little longer than wide, kernel edible,
    bark of the trunk without flat ridges = Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)
    b. Twig pith dark brown Fruit and nut much longer than wide, kernel edible, bark of the trunk
    with flat longitudinal ridges = Butternut (Julgans cinerea)
    Leaflets 5 to 9 or rarely 11 on a rachis.
    1a. Terminal bud orange yellow, scales not overlapping, fruit narrowly 4-winged, kernel bitter, leaflets 7-9 = Bitternut (Carya cordiformis)
    1b. Terminal bud gray or brown, scales overlapping, fruit not winged, leaflets 5-9 --go to 2
    .....2a.Terminal bud 12-20mm, kernel edible --go to 3
    .....2b. Terminal bud 6-12mm long --go to 4
    3a. Leaves pubescent (furry) on the undersides, terminal leaflet longer than laterals = Mockernut (Carya tomentosa)
    3b. Leaves smooth on the undersides, bark of mature trees separating into long plates = Shagbark hickory (Carya ovata)
    .....4a. Husk splits when ripe from tip to top. Kernel edible,
    bark of mature trees separating into small plates = Pignut (Carya ovalis)
    .....4b. Husk splits when ripe only to the middle or not at all, kernel NOT edible,
    bark of old trees rough and furrowed = Pignut (Carya glabra)

    Whether that thing in the photo is a butternut or an edible pignut, you still have to cure them and get into them somehow. When we cracked pignuts, we used a 3-sided wooden 'cage' about 12" tall around a flat rock and whacked em with a hammer. You don't get a lot for your effort. Kept us kids busy for about 3 hours. That's about all the patience a kid has with these things. LOL.
    Last edited by LowKey; 08-14-2011 at 05:11 PM.

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    Oh, and when taking the husks off, gloves are highly recommended. The tannins will turn your fingers dark brown and it doesn't wash off.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Yeah, my grandson asked me to crack a walnut for him yesterday that still had the husk. I'm sporting three poopy brown fingers today.

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    Member feral chef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowKey View Post
    Oh, and when taking the husks off, gloves are highly recommended. The tannins will turn your fingers dark brown and it doesn't wash off.
    so i may have a free tan in my future

  9. #9

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    Sure, if you want to go around looking a jaundiced yellow-green-brown.
    So which tree is it?

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    That is not a bitternut hickory, hickories lack the green husk. I have a Bitternut in my field and the nuts are quarter sized with the shell on them. That tree honestly looks like a common Black Walnut. If so, you're lucky, tasty nuts and valuable wood.

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    Hmm I wonder what species of hickory that is... I looked at my Trees of Missouri book and it says that black walnut is found all the way into new york so im sure hes got some in massachusettes. What color is the wood?

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    It looks like Bitternut to me. We have both Bitternut and Black Walnut here.

  14. #14

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    I'm glad I posted a key....

    If it has more than 7-9 leaflets it isn't a bitternut (it looks like it does but I can't see the enlarged photo - stupid browser)
    It's elongated so it can't be a black walnut which is more round. We have black walnuts here in MA but they are rare and usually planted on purpose rather than growing wild.
    Pictures:
    Black Walnut:
    Http://www.cas.vanderbilt.edu/bioima...ecies/juni.htm
    Bitternut Hickory (note the ridges on the seams):
    Http://www.cas.vanderbilt.edu/bioima...ies/caco15.htm
    Butternut:
    http://www.hort.cornell.edu/4hplants...Butternut.html

    That vanderbilt site is cool cuz it lets you compare other Carya species but unfortunately not the Juglans species relatives.
    My bet is on the Butternut. I've been watching a tree coming along for a month now. Should be ready for picking up in another couple weeks.
    Last edited by LowKey; 08-16-2011 at 10:25 PM.

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    Look at the leaves of the butternut compared with the picture, now look at the leaves of the black walnut. Long and narrow. I live in the Ozarks and the black walnut is the most common tree aside from red cedar. Those look like my walnuts this year and yes they are elongated.

  16. #16

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    looks like my walnut trees. not sure of anything else that looks that way. your picture looks as if you were in my backyard and took a pic of my tree. if you have no knowledge of walnut trees, in a few months that green will go away and leave you with a hard shell, if you crack it open youll have walnut inside. I have 2 huge walnut trees and a pear tree and a huge persimmon tree. i eat off of all of them.
    Last edited by Rodney; 08-17-2011 at 10:46 AM.

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    could be butter nut tree

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    sorry been busy ill take some more pics today and try to post them

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    Voice in the Wilderness preachtheWORD's Avatar
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    Likely to be a butternut, also called a White Walnut. Doesn't look like a Black Walnut or Hickory to me.
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    You guys are confusing BUtternet with BItternut.

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