The pecan is the only commercially grown nut in Texas and is native to most of the state's river valleys. The tree, one of the most widely distributed trees in the state, is native to 152 counties and is grown commercially in some thirty additional counties. It is also widely used as a dual-purpose yard tree. The size and quality of pecans are influenced by the number of leaves per nut. More leaves are needed for large nuts. Pecan trees begin growing in early spring and continue in early fall; deep, loose, and well-watered soil is conducive to growth. Peccan is Algonquian for hard-shelled nut.