Juglandaceae Carya illionensis
Native to the Mississippi River flood plains this late summer hard mast producer was once only found from southwestern Alabama west to central Texas. From central Iowa it is found south all the way to the coast. Since the development of these area the pecan has become a more broadly spread cash crop tree with many cultivars now available. Most orchards are planted with 3 varieties as cross pollination helps improve productivity by increasing pollination rate. The success of Pecan as a cash crop has spread the tree up into the Tennessee Valley, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida. Though outside of the orchards it tends to not do too well.
The thick shell around the pecan nut, like other members of the hickory family, means that most animals can’t feed on them. Rodents and crows that have learned how to get the shells cracked are the primary consumers.
The wind-blown pollen of the pecan tree attributes to spring allergies where these trees are found.