Pterocarya fraxinifolia
Common Name: Caucasian wingnut 
Type: Tree
Family: Juglandaceae
Native Range: Eastern Turkey, northern Iran, Caucasus
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 30.00 to 60.00 feet
Spread: 30.00 to 60.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Green
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Shade Tree
Flower: Showy, Insignificant
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Prefers consistently moist soils, but tolerates drought. Tolerates hard, compacted soils. Develops an extensive root system. Freely suckers.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Pterocarya fraxinifolia, commonly called Caucasian wingnut, is native from the Caucasus to northern Iran. It gets its interesting name from its fruit. After spring flowering, small green winged nutlets develop in the female catkins in early summer, forming pendulous strings to 20” long. Nutlets mature to brown in late summer to early fall, often persisting on the tree into winter. This is a deciduous tree in the walnut family that typically grows 30-60’ (less frequently to 90’) tall with a rounded, broad-spreading habit. Compound, odd-pinnate leaves grow to 18” long. Each leaf contains 7 to 27, ovate to oblong-lanceolate, sharply-toothed, glossy dark green leaflets (2-5” long). Undistinguished yellow-green fall color. Non-showy, monoecious light green flowers appear in pendulous catkins in late spring (May-June). Female catkins to 20” long. Male catkins to 5” long.

Genus name comes from the Greek words pteron meaning a wing and karyon meaning a nut. Karya is an old Greek name for the walnut tree.

Specific epithet is in reference to the similarity of the leaf to that of some ashes (Fraxinus being the ash genus and folia meaning leaf).


No serious insect or disease problems.


Needs a large space. Best for parks or large commercial plantings. Suckering habit may temper use in residential lawns.