Carya tomentosa (Lamarck) Nuttall. Phen: Apr-May; Oct. Hab: Forests and woodlands. Dist: MA west to IN and IA, south to n. peninsular FL and TX.
Origin/Endemic status: Native
Taxonomy Comments: There has been confusion and controversy for several centuries over the specific epithet. The oldest basionym available is Juglans alba Linnaeus, which apparently included disparate elements, including this taxon and C. ovata. Following a more circumscribed typification by Crantz in 1766, the epithet ‘alba’ should have been applied to this taxon, but continued to be applied in various ways. Rehder (1945) proposed that C. alba should be considered a nomen ambiguum, but agreed that it applied correctly to what has often been called C. tomentosa. He argued that the use of C. alba should be rejected "in order to avoid confusion and ambiguity". In 2008, Ward & Wiersema (2008) formally proposed rejection of Juglans alba (the basionym of Carya alba), and the Committee has recommended its rejection unanimously (Brummitt 2010). For further discussion see Rehder (1945), Howard & Staples (1983), Wunderlin, Hansen, & Hall (1985), and Brummitt (2010).
Other Comments: One of the most common forest trees of much of our area.
Synonymy: = C, F, Fl2, FNA3, G, GrPl, Il, K3, K4, NE, NY, Pa, RAB, Tn, Va, W, WH3; = Carya alba (L.) Nutt. ex Elliott – Ar, K1, NcTx; = Hicoria alba (L.) Britton – S