Virtual Microscopy
Microscopy Primer
License Info
Image Use
Custom Photos
Partners
Site Info
Contact Us
Publications
Home

Visit Science,
Optics, & You


The Galleries:

Photo Gallery
Silicon Zoo
Pharmaceuticals
Chip Shots
Phytochemicals
DNA Gallery
Microscapes
Vitamins
Amino Acids
Birthstones
Religion Collection
Pesticides
Beershots
Cocktail Collection
Screen Savers
Win Wallpaper
Mac Wallpaper
Movie Gallery

The Bitternut Hickory

The Bitternut Hickory (Carya cordiformis; a member of the Pecan hickory class) is a hardwood tree found throughout the eastern United States from northern New Hampshire south to Florida and then west to Minnesota and eastern Texas. This native hardwood grows to heights of over 100 feet and the crown can spread as wide as the tree is tall. The sapwood is white to pale brown, while the heartwood is light to dark brown, often with a reddish tinge.


Cross Section


Radial Section


Tangential Section

Bitternut hickory nuts are encased in a husk that blackens when they ripen in September or early fall. The bitternut is the largest of the hickories, and is the only hickory tree that produces a nut that is not edible (or desirable) for humans because of its extreme bitterness. Because hickory wood is unsurpassed in its inherent qualities of hardness, strength, toughness, and resiliency, bitternut hickory wood is often used for tool handles--especially for impact tools such as hammers, axes, picks, and sledges. The wood is also found in sporting goods such as baseball bats, skis, gymnastic bars, and rackets. Non-structural duties include skewers, chips for smoking meats, and fuel wood.

Microscopic examination of iron-alum hematoxylin and safranin stained thin sections reveals very few vessels, but with large late-wood vessels. The perforation plates are simple and inter-vessel pits average 6 to 8 micrometers in diameter with a shape that is predominately orbicular to oval, although in some instances they appear angular (through crowding). Parenchyma is marginal and fiber tracheids range from thin to thick-walled and are frequently gelatinous. The rays are 1 to 5 seriate and homocellular to heterocellular.

BACK TO THE TREES COLLECTION

Questions or comments? Send us an email.
© 1995-2013 by Michael W. Davidson and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, software, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last modification: Friday, Aug 01, 2003 at 11:43 AM
Access Count Since February 1, 1999: 33156
Microscopes provided exclusively by: