A large tree of great character. The gray to brown bark peels off in thin sections, curling at the ends while staying attached in the middle. The trunks are usually straight, the foliage has 5 leaflets and is deep yellow green casting a beautiful light onto the peeling bark. Fall color is rich yellow and golden brown tones. Produces large, edible hickory nuts. Host plant to butterflies. Used by bats.According to Illinois Wildflowers: A large number of insects feed on the wood, foliage, plant juices, and other parts of hickories (Carya spp.). Caterpillars of the butterflies Satyrium caryaevorum (Hickory Hairstreak) and Satyrium calanus falacer (Banded Hairstreak) feed on these trees, as do caterpillars of many moths (see Moth Table). Among these moth species, Catocala angusi (Angus Underwing), Catocala judith(Judith Underwing), and Catocala residua (Residua Underwing) feed on Shagbark Hickory exclusively (Wagner et al., 2009).
Callicarpa americana. Photo: Mervin Wallace
Typical Landscape Use
Establishment and Care Instructions
Where Should I Start?
Check out the Grow Native! Committee’s Top Ten picks of native plants for a particular purpose.
What’s the Next Step?
Picked out your plants? View our Resource Guide of garden centers, seed sources, landscapers, education resources, and more!