Carya poilanei (A. Chev.) J. Leroy. Poilane's hickory.

(This description is taken from Grauke, L.J.; Wood, B.W.; Payne, J.A. Genetic resources of Carya in Vietnam and China. Annu. Rpt. N. Nut Growers Assn. 82:80-87. 1991).

Poilane's hickory is known only from the original collections used in the description of the species (Poilane 26,964, collected Dec. 31, 1937, and maintained at the Herbarium Phanerogamie of the Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris). Chevalier (1941) initially described the tree as Juglans poilanei. The species was transferred to the genus Carya by Leroy (1950), who noted in later work (Leroy, 1955) that nuts in Poilane's collection had funicular strands in the shell and a basal plexus, while stems had solid pith, all characters which distinguish Carya from Juglans. Chevalier (1941) was evidently mislead by the presence of lacunae (cavities filled with powdery material) in the walls of the shell as well as in the septal areas, which is atypical of other living Carya species but has been noted in fossil species of the genus (Leroy, 1955; Mai, 1981).

Poilane made his collection "within the great forest near the slopes of Pou-Nou , near Lai-chau, at 1000 m. elev., in calcareous soil". Chevalier (1941) speculated that "Pou-Nhou" referred to Pou-Nam, a massive mountain northwest of Lai-Chau, with an elevation of 2,534 m., located at 22 30' N latitude near the borders of China, Burma, Vietnam and Laos. Manning (1963) with the corroboration of D. E. Stone, identified a sample from "Muang Cha, Chiengkwang, Laos" as C. poilanei (Kerr, 21092, collected April 16, 1932, and maintained at herbaria of the British Museum, Kew Gardens and in Paris). Manning speculated that "Chiengkwang is probably Xieng Khouang in northern Laos" (1963, p. 124).

Our Vietnamese hosts were, understandably, not familiar with this obscure species, but were interested in finding it. Unfortunately, access to the area is difficult and was not possible during our short stay. Maps on display at the Forest Inventory Planning Institute showed progressive deforestation in the northwest section of Vietnam from 1943. We encouraged our Vietnamese colleagues to find and preserve this rare and potentially valuable member of the Carya genus.

LJ Grauke , Research Horticulturist & Curator
USDA-ARS Pecan Genetics
10200 FM 50
Somerville, TX 77879
fax: 979-272-1401

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