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Species – Pecan

Species Information - Pecan

Species Information

The pecan is a species of hickory whose name comes from the Algonquian word for a nut requiring a stone to crack. Pecans are particularly large deciduous trees, which can grow up to 131 feet in height, with a trunk as wide as 6.6 feet.

Technically speaking, a pecan is not a nut, but actually a drupe, which is a fruit with a single stone or pit. The seeds of the pecan are edible, offering a rich and buttery flavor. They are particularly used in sweet dishes and desserts, including the popular Southern dish – pecan pie. Pecans also play a significant role in the popular praline candy.

Pecans are a great source for manganese, protein and unsaturated fats. Pecan-rich diets can help lower the risk of gallstones in women.

The pecan tree has been known to be sacred to Indian cultures and other religions throughout the country. Pecans are used in temples during worship as an offering to Hindu gods and goddesses.

While the pecan has grown in popularity across the globe, it remains a domestic tree. It is the state tree for both Alabama and Texas.

Scientific Names

Pecans are known formally as Carya illinoinensis, which is a member of the Juglandaceae family. The Juglandaceae family is represented worldwide with more than 60 species.


The pecan is native to Mexico and south central and southeastern regions of the United States. Other species of the Juglandaceae family can be found on every continent in the world, with the exception of Antarctica.

Crossover Names


Janka Rating

The Janka rating for the Pecan is 1,820. With this rating pecan is considered quite hard and can be difficult to process. But once it has been processed, it’s quite a durable type of flooring.

Pecan Janka Scale Rating 1,820

*The Janka rating measures the resistance of a sample of wood to denting and wear. Click Here for more info.


The heartwood of the pecan tends to be light and medium brown with a reddish hue. The sapwood is a paler yellowish brown. The grain is usually straight, though occasionally wavy.

There can be significant differences in the color of spring and summer wood. Completed flooring projects will typically showcase both color variations.

Due to the variations in color (from off-white sapwood to rusty-brown heartwood), pecan is a popular choice for a rustic décor. The hardness of the wood makes it ideal for heavy foot traffic locations.


Pecan can be a challenge to work with when using hand tools. Tearout can be common during machine operations if cutting edges are not kept sharp. Pecan wood tends to blunt cutting edges. Pecan glues, stains, and finishes well, and responds nicely to steam bending.

CLICK HERE to view all of our hardwood flooring.

Click below for a detailed discription of the different species of hardwood.

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