Caucasian Wingnut tree identification

The Caucasian Wingnut Pterocarya fraxinifolia is a deciduous tree native to the Caucasus region of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Russia, the Ukraine and Turkey. It was introduced to Britain in1782. It is now found in many parks and large gardens. Caucasian Wingnut tree identification is by its long pinnate leaves, catkins in spring and winged fruit on long catkins in autumn. 

Caucasian Wingnut tree

Trees may be single or multi-stemmed. This multi-stemmed tree was photographed in April

Caucasian Wingnut pinnate leaf

The pinnate leaf has from 7 to 27 floppy leaflets

Caucasian Wingnut leaflet

Leaflets are toothed and up to 18cm long

Caucasian Wingnut bark

The bark has shallow criss-crossed ridges

Caucasian Wingnut catkins

The tree is monoecious, meaning that it has male and female flowers on the same tree. Female catkin on the left and male catkin on the right at the end of April. Male flowers appear in March/April and are shed by mid May after releasing pollen. Female catkins bear fruit

Caucasian Wingnut female catkin

Close-up of a female catkin with flowers showing red stigmas, ready to receive pollen at the end of April

Caucasian Wingnut fruit

Close-up of the female catkin in September. Each flower has produced a single winged fruit – the ‘wing nut’

Caucasian Wingnut buds

The buds in winter are distinctive. The leaf  bud, at the top, looks like a miniature leaf. It has no bud scales. Also shown are 3 long, conical flower buds. Note that the buds are on short stalks.