A deciduous Tree growing to 50 m (160ft) at a medium rate. It is hardy to zone 5. It is in leaf 10-Jun It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by wind. The plant is self-fertile.
The kernels are sweet and delicious, they make an excellent dessert and are also often added to ice cream, used in cakes, bread etc. The seed is up to 4cm long and is produced in clusters of 3 -11. The seed ripens in late autumn and, when stored in its shell in a cool place, will keep for at least 6 months.
Prefers a deep moisture-retentive loam in a sunny sheltered position, requiring a good summer for best development. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.5 to 8.3. Trees are fairly fast growing. Trees do not grow very well in Britain, requiring hotter summers than are normally experienced here in order to fruit and fully ripen their wood. However there are cultivars known as Northern Pecans, which can produce. A tree at Cambridge botanical gardens was 20 metres tall in 1985. Trees are said to be hardy to about -12°c, the same report also says that they are hardy to zone 5, which would experience considerably lower temperatures than this. Trees are probably much hardier when grown in areas with hot summers. In the wild, trees grow best in areas where summer temperatures average 24 - 30°c and the humidity is high. Often cultivated for its edible seed, there are some named varieties. Trees come into bearing when about 20 years old, the best period of production being between the ages of 75 to 225 years old. Mature trees regularly give yields of 225 kilos, whilst yields of 450 kilos have been recorded. There are many cultivars on record which produce seeds within a year or two..