H. glabra, Britt.
deserves the better name, "smooth hickory," a more ingratiating introduction to strangers. A graceful, symmetrical tree, with spreading limbs that end in deli cate, pendulous branches, and gray bark checked into a maze of intersecting furrows, it is an ornament to any park, even in the dead of winter. In summer the tree laughs in the face of the sun, its smooth, glossy, yellow-green leaflets, five to seven on a stem, lined with pale green or yellow. In spring the clustered fringes among the opening leaves are the green and gold stamen flowers. The curiously angled fertile flowers, at the tips of twigs, are green, with yellow stigmas. Autumn turns the foliage to orange and brown, and lets fall the pear-shaped or rounded fruit, each nut obscurely four-angled and held fast at the base by the thin, 4-ridged husk, that splits scarcely to the middle. The
kernel is insipid, sometimes bitter, occasionally rather sweet. Country boys scorn the pignut trees, leaving their fruit for eager but unsophisticated nut-gatherers from the towns.
Pigs used to be turned into the woods to fatten on beech and oak-" mast." They eagerly devoured the thin-shelled nuts of H. glabra, and thus the tree earned the friendly re gard of farmers, and a name that preserves an interesting bit of pioneer history.
The range of the pignut is from Maine to Florida on the Atlantic seaboard, west to the middle of Nebraska and Texas, and from Ontario and Michigan south to the Gulf.