as of 2003-03-13
The pecan is a deciduous tree native to North America of the species Carya illinoinensis. It is closely related to the hickories, which make up the rest of the genus. Pecan trees can grow to over 40 feet in height and can be grown approximately from USDA hardiness zones 5 through 9.
The nuts of the pecan tree are edible and are used in cooking, particularly sweet desserts, but also some savory dishes. One of the most common desserts with the pecan as a central ingredient is the pecan pie. In addition to the nut, the wood of the tree is also used in making furniture, in hardwood flooring, as well as flavoring fuel for smoking meats.
Hickory flowers are anemophilous and self incompatible, so two or more varieties must be present to pollenize each other.