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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Pterocarya (Greek, pteron, wing, and karya, nut ; referring to the winged nuts). Juglandaceae. Ornamental trees grown for their handsome pinnate foliage and the attractive pendulous racemes of winged fruits.

Deciduous: branches with lamellate pith; winter buds naked or scaly, more or less stalked and usually several in each axil, one above the other: lvs. alternate, exstipu- late, odd-pinnate, with almost sessile lfts.: fls. monoe- cious; in pendulous catkins, appearing with the lvs.; staminate catkins rather dense, fls. consisting of 3 connate bracts, 1-4 sepals and 6-18 stamens; pistillate catkins slender, the 1-celled ovary inclosed in a connate involucre elongated into a 4-toothed beak; stigmas 2: fr. a small 1-seeded, winged nut, 4-celled at the base. In germination the 4-lobed cotyledons are borne above the ground and become green, while in Juglans and Carya they remain inclosed in the nuts.—Eight species: 6 in China, 1 in Japan, and 1 in W. Asia.

The pterocaryas are handsome trees of rapid growth usually dividing into several stems from the base, with large pinnate leaves, rather inconspicuous flowers appearing with the foliage and adorned in summer and fall with long drooping racemes of winged fruits. They thrive best in rich and moist soil, but grow well also in drier localities. P. fraxinifolia and P. rhoifolia are hardy as far north as Massachusetts, but need some protection while young. P. stenoptera is more tender and the other Chinese species have not yet been sufficiently tried. Propagation is by seeds sown in autumn or stratified, also by layers and suckers.

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