University of Florida

Plant Identification Learning Module:
Fruits & Nuts

Pecan (Carya illinoinensis)

Pecan trees grow seventy to 100 feet in height. Leaves are odd-pinnately compound, with 11 to 17 leaflets, lanceolate, with serrate margins. Male and female flowers are on the same tree. The male flowers are in hanging catkins and the female flowers in spikes. Bark becomes gray, rough, and somewhat scaly on older trees. Pecans develop inside a rough green husk that turns black and splits open at maturity. The nut is oblong, brown or tan with black streaks, smooth, thin-shelled, pointed and one to two inches long. The kernel is distinctively ridged. Pecans grow throughout Florida, but rarely produce good crops in South Florida.