Several selected varieties of the Pecan have become commercial, and others of special value will soon be planted extensively. As stated in Section 289 a single firm in New York has prepared and marketed for confectionery uses 109,000 pounds in a single season. In a relatively fresh condition it is without doubt the most healthful nut known to commerce. At San Antonio, Texas, invalids with weak stomachs eat the freshly gathered nuts in such quantity as to surprise new-comers, without discomfort and with rapid increase in weight of body. The propagation of the best varieties is outlined in Section 290. The most decided present drawback to commercial culture of the Southern varieties is that the trees are slow in coming into bearing, as it is a tree of immense size. The writer measured many trees the past winter in Texas, and other parts of the South, that were seven feet in diameter of stem three feet above the ground, with immense spread of top, which bore many bushels of nuts in a season. At their north limit of growth the mature trees are relatively small in size, and they come into bearing as soon as the shellbark hickory nut. By crossing these with the very large thin-shelled varieties of Texas it may be possible to secure as valuable nuts growing on smaller hardier trees. In Iowa the pecan is found on the Mississippi River bottom land up to near the forty-second parallel. Trees grown from nuts of these Northern varieties have made thrifty growth on dry upland considerably north of the forty-second parallel, and these are the varieties that should be used for crossing with the pollen of such varieties as the San Saba of Texas.
Size medium, pointed at each end; color light brown; shell very thin; quality very good; a good keeper.
Large, oblong; kernel full and plump, rich, oily, very good. Louisiana.
Very large, oblong; compressed at the middle, pointed; quality good. Double-starred in three of the great horticultural districts of the South. Louisiana.
Large, oblong; shell very thin; nearly best in quality. Growing in popularity with propagators and planters. Louisiana.
Medium to large, with firm thin shell, and plump easily extracted kernels; quality best. Texas.
Very large, oval, with compressed center; shell quite thick; very good. Mississippi.
Very large, with broad base, angular, with flavor like a shellbark hickory nut. Supposed to be a hybrid. Indiana.
Large, oblong, smooth; kernel large, plump, and easily extracted. Grown in Ohio.
Medium to large, with thin shell and easily extracted kernels; rich and sweet. Texas.
Medium to large, oblong ovate; shell thin; kernel large, plump, and best in quality.
Large, oblong; shell thin; commercially grown in three fruit districts of the South. Mississippi.
Medium, oval. A sweet rich variety coming into favor with planters. Texas.
Large to very large, oblong; quality very good to best. A popular variety with nut-orchard planters. Mississippi.
In addition to the above in New Jersey the Guadaloupe from Texas is propagated, and is said to bear earlier than most varieties, and in the South fully a dozen other nurseries are propagating select local varieties.