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John K. Francis
Water hickory (Carya aquatica) is a major constituent of clay flats and backwater areas near streams and rivers of the South. Also known as bitter pecan, the species reproduces aggressively from both seed and sprouts. Cutting practices that suppressed competing species have allowed it to increase in better drained areas. Because of "shake" and smaller size, water hickory is deemed inferior to pecan (C. illinoensis) for sawing. Water hickory is a major component of wetland forests now considered important in cleansing drainage waters.