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Fruits, Berries, and Nuts
Fruits, Berries, and Nuts

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Arkansas State Nut

Pecan

Arkansas State Nut: pecan

(Juglandaceae Carya illinoensis)

Adopted on March 27, 2009.

The Eighty-seventh Arkansas General Assembly designated the pecan as the official nut of Arkansas. Act 638, introduced as HB 1906 by Representative Larry Cowling (District 2, Little River County), had twenty-two co-sponsors and was approved on March 27, 2009.

The act specifically noted, however, that it did not grant protected status to the pecan, thus ensuring that the fruit of the Carya illinoinensis may be harvested and consumed. Alabama, Oklahoma, and Texas have similarly honored the pecan; in Texas, it is both the official state health nut and the official state tree, while Oklahoma celebrates it in the form of pecan pie in its official state meal. The Eighty-seventh Arkansas General Assembly designated the pecan as the official nut of Arkansas. Act 638, introduced as HB 1906 by Representative Larry Cowling (District 2, Little River County), had twenty-two co-sponsors and was approved on March 27, 2009. The act specifically noted, however, that it did not grant protected status to the pecan, thus ensuring that the fruit of the Carya illinoinens is may be harvested and consumed. Alabama, Oklahoma, and Texas have similarly honored the pecan; in Texas, it is both the official state health nut and the official state tree, while Oklahoma celebrates it in the form of pecan pie in its official state meal.

Arkansas State Nut: Pecan

Arkansas State Nut: pecan

The pecan is a species of hickory native to much of the South. It was first commercially cultivated in the 1880s. The pecan tree, like other members of the genus Carya, produces fruits that are technically drupes rather than botanical nuts but are covered with a hard husk; such are termed drupaceous nuts or tryma. The tasty nuts are utilized in many sweet and savory recipes. In 2008, Arkansas's pecan groves produced approximately one million pounds of nuts.

Fruit

Arkansas State Nut: pecan

Large, oblong, brown, splotched with black, thin shelled nuts, 1 & ? to 2 inches long, husks are thin, usually occur in clusters on trees. Mature in September and October.

A pecan, like the fruit of all other members of the hickory genus, is not truly a nut, but is technically a drupe, a fruit with a single stone or pit, surrounded by a husk. The husks are produced from the exocarp tissue of the flower, while the part known as the nut develops from the endocarp and contains the seed. The husk itself is aeneous, oval to oblong, 2.6-6 cm (1.0-2.4 in) long and 1.5-3 cm (0.59-1.18 in) broad. The outer husk is 3-4 mm (0.12-0.16 in) thick, starts out green and turns brown at maturity, at which time it splits off in four sections to release the thin-shelled nut.

The seeds 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 US recipe. Pecans are also a major ingredient in praline candy.

Tree

See Texas State Tree: Pecan (Juglandaceae Carya illinoensis)

Arkansas 2009 HOUSE BILL 1906

State of Arkansas
87th General Assembly A Bill
Regular Session, 2009 HOUSE BILL 1906

By: Representatives L. Cowling, Allen, Cole, D. Creekmore, English, Garner, Glidewell, Hall, Hawkins,
House, Hoyt, Ingram, Maloch, Moore, Patterson, Pennartz, Perry, Powers, Reep, T. Rogers, Saunders, G.
Smith, Stewart

For An Act To Be Entitled
AN ACT TO DESIGNATE THE PECAN AS THE OFFICIAL NUT
OF THE STATE OF ARKANSAS; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Subtitle
AN ACT TO DESIGNATE THE PECAN AS THE
OFFICIAL NUT OF THE STATE OF ARKANSAS.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ARKANSAS:

SECTION 1. Arkansas Code Title 1, Chapter 4 is amended to add an
additional section to read as follows:

1-4-128. State nut.
(a) The pecan is designated the official nut of the State of Arkansas.
(b) This section does not require a state agency or office to
republish any publication or brochure in order to list or display the state
nut. A state agency or office may include the information concerning the
state nut in future publications or brochures or in any scheduled update to a
publication or brochure.
(c) This section does not grant a protected status to the pecan.

Arkansas Law

The law designating the pecan as the official Arkansas state nut is found in the 2014 Arkansas Code Title 1 - General Provisions Chapter 4 - State Symbols, Motto, Etc. Section 1-4-130

Title 1 - General Provisions
Chapter 4 - State Symbols, Motto, Etc.
§ 1-4-130 - State nut.

(a) The pecan is designated the official nut of the State of Arkansas.

(b) This section does not require a state agency or office to republish any publication or brochure in order to list or display the state nut. A state agency or office may include the information concerning the state nut in future publications or brochures or in any scheduled update to a publication or brochure.

(c) This section does not grant a protected status to the pecan

Taxonomic Hierarchy:  Pecan

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
    Subkingdom: Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
    Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
    Subclass: Hamamelididae
Order: Juglandales
Family: Juglandaceae - Walnut family
Genus: Carya Nutt. - hybrid hickory
Species; Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch - pecan

State Foods
State Foods Symbols
List official US state foods. Includes drinks, deserts, cookies, and muffins to complete meals.
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