Thursday, July 01, 2010

American Hardwoods: Hickory

Hickory dickory dock
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck one
The mouse ran down
Hickory dickory dock

The first publication date for the "Hickory, dickory dock" rhyme is 1744. Hickory is a derived from the North American Indian word 'pawcohiccora' which is an oily milk-like liquor that is pressed from pounded hickory nuts. The word `Pohickory'' was contained in a list of Virginia trees published in 1653. The word ' Pohickory' was subsequently shortened to `hickory.'

Dock is a species of plant which has the Latin name of Rumex crispus. A well-known weed which has a long taproot making it difficult to exterminate. The Dock plant can be used as an astringent or tonic

Hickory flowers are small yellow-green catkins produced in spring. They are wind-pollinated and self-incompatible. The fruit is a globose or oval nut, approx. 2" long, enclosed in a four-valved husk which splits open at maturity. The nut shell is thick and bony in most species, it is divided into two halves which split apart when the seed germinates.

United States President Andrew Jackson was known as "Old Hickory" because of his toughness...just like the Hickory tree.

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