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The Pecan Carya illinoinensis is a species of hickory native to southeastern North America from southern Iowa and Indiana south to Texas and Mississippi. It is a deciduous tree, growing to 25 40 m in height, and can be grown approximately from USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9, provided summers are also hot and humid.
The nuts of the Pecan are edible, with a rich, buttery flavor. They can be eaten fresh or used in cooking, particularly in sweet desserts but also in some savory dishes. One of the most common desserts with the pecan as a central ingredient is the pecan pie, a traditional southern U.S. recipe. In addition to the pecan nut, the wood of the pecan tree is also used in making furniture, in hardwood flooring, as well as flavoring fuel for smoking meats.
The Pecan is the state tree of Texas. Texas is also the leading producer of pecan nuts in the United States, followed by Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Oklahoma. Outside the United States, pecans are grown in Australia, Brazil, Israel, Mexico, Peru and South Africa.
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