An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus (/ˈkwɜrkəs/;[1] Latin “oak tree”) of the beech family, Fagaceae, having approximately 600 extant species. The common name “oak” may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus. The genus is native to the Northern Hemisphere, and includes deciduous and evergreen species extending from cool temperate to tropical latitudes in Asia and the Americas. North America contains the largest number of oak species, with approximately 90 occurring in the United States. Mexico has 160 species, of which 109 are endemic. The second greatest center of oak diversity is China, which contains approximately 100 species.[2]

Oaks have spirally arranged leaves, with lobate margins in many species; some have serrated leaves or entire leaves with smooth margins. Many deciduous species are marcescent, not dropping dead leaves until spring. In spring, a single oak tree produces both male flowers (in the form of catkins) and small female flowers.[3] The fruit is a nut called an acorn, borne in a cup-like structure known as a cupule; each acorn contains one seed (rarely two or three) and takes 6–18 months to mature, depending on species. The live oaks are distinguished for being evergreen, but are not actually a distinct group and instead are dispersed across the genus.

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Mesquite (from Nahuatl mizquitl /ˈmiskit͡ɬ/) is a common name for several species of leguminous plants of the Prosopis genus found in northern Mexicothrough the Sonoran Desert and Chihuahuan Deserts, and up into the Southwestern United States as far north as southern Kansas, west to the Colorado Desert in California, and east to the eastern fifth of Texas, where average annual rainfall is more than 101 cm (40 in). Several species are found in arid to semi-arid regions of southern and western South America.

These deciduous trees can reach a height of 6 to 9 m (20 to 30 ft) although in most of their range they are shrub size. They have narrow, bipinnatelycompound leaves 50 to 75 mm (2.0 to 3.0 in) long, of which the pinnules are sharply pointed. Twigs have a characteristic zig-zag form. Some common species of mesquite are honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa), Prosopis juliflora, velvet mesquite (Prosopis velutina), creeping mesquite (Prosopis strombulifera), and screwbean mesquite (Prosopis pubescens). New growth of mesquite has needle-sharp thorns up to 75 mm (3.0 in) long. The spines are tough enough to penetrate the soft soles of sneakers or similar footwear, and can easily puncture tires.

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The pecan (/pɪˈkɑːn/, /pɪˈkæn/, /ˈpkæn/, or /ˈpkɑːn/; Carya illinoinensis) is a species of hickory native to Mexico and the southcentral and southeastern regions of the United States.[1][2]

“Pecan” is from an Algonquian word meaning a nut requiring a stone to crack.[3]

The pecan tree is a large deciduous tree, growing to 20–40 m (66–131 ft) in height, rarely to 44 m (144 ft).[2] It typically has a spread of 12–23 m (39–75 ft) with a trunk up to 2 m (6.6 ft) diameter. A 10-year-old sapling will stand about 5 m (16 ft) tall. The leaves are alternate, 30–45 cm (12–18 in) long, and pinnate with 9–17 leaflets, each leaflet 5–12 cm (2.0–4.7 in) long and 2–6 cm (0.79–2.36 in) broad. g]]

A pecan, like the fruit of all other members of the hickory genus, is not truly a nut, but is technically a drupe, a fruit with a single stone or pit, surrounded by a husk. The husks are produced from the exocarp tissue of the flower, while the part known as the nut develops from the endocarp and contains the seed. The husk itself is aeneous, oval to oblong, 2.6–6 cm (1.0–2.4 in) long and 1.5–3 cm (0.59–1.18 in) broad. The outer husk is 3–4 mm (0.12–0.16 in) thick, starts out green and turns brown at maturity, at which time it splits off in four sections to release the thin-shelled nut.[2][4][5][6]

The seeds of the pecan are edible, with a rich, buttery flavor. They can be eaten fresh or used in cooking, particularly in sweet desserts. One of the most common desserts with the pecan as a central ingredient is the pecan pie, a traditional Southern U.S. dish. Pecans are also a major ingredient in pralinecandy.[7]

In addition to the pecan seed, the wood is also used in making furniture and wood flooring as well as flavoring fuel for smoking meats.

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Hickory (from Powhatan) is a type of tree, comprising the genus Carya (Ancient Greek: κάρυον “nut”). The genus includes 17–19 species of deciduoustrees with pinnately compound leaves and big nuts. Five or six species are native to China, Indochina, and India (State of Assam), 11 or 12 are from theUnited States, two to four are from Canada and four are found in Mexico. Hickory flowers are small, yellow-green catkins produced in spring. They arewind-pollinated and self-incompatible. The fruit is a globose or oval nut, 2–5 cm (0.79–1.97 in) long and 1.5–3 cm (0.59–1.18 in) diameter, enclosed in a four-valved husk, which splits open at maturity. The nut shell is thick and bony in most species, and thin in a few, notably C. illinoinensis; it is divided into two halves, which split apart when the seed germinates.

Beaked hickory (Annamocarya sinensis) is a species formerly classified as Carya sinensis, but now adjudged in the monotypic genus Annamocarya.

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