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Black Walnut Juglans nigra

Phonetic Spelling
JOO-glanz NY-gruh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Juglans nigra, commonly known as Black Walnut as the nuts and husks can stain, prefers full sun and wet to dry loam or sandy high acidic to slightly alkaline soil. It is recognized by a 3-lobed leaf scar resembling a monkey face and the furrowed trunk bark. Its roots contain juglone which inhibits the growth of some plants such as azaleas, peonies, some vegetables like tomatoes, and blueberries beneath the tree's dripline. This massive tree with a 50-70ft height and width has an upright spreading open form and very deep taproot making it difficult to transplant.  It has the habit of losing its lower branches to begin its spread at 20 feet above the ground.  Both male and female flowers are on each tree (monoecious); males take the form of 2-4 inch long catkins with 17-50 stamens and female flowers form on the end of stalks bearing fruit in October. Leafing in late spring with yellow-green leaves and fall color of clear yellow, it is an attractive tree of 24-inch alternate, pinnately compound leaves with 15-23 leaflets.  Nut production can sometimes begin as early as 6 years but usually takes 20 years for a substantial crop.  The fruits are both edible and used as a dye, though difficult to remove from the fleshy husk.  Once used by Native Americans medicinally, the tree is a scarce, native hardwood used in furniture and veneer.

Habitat: Moist, nutrient-rich forests of floodplains and slopes, calcareous

 

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Edibles, Bulbs, and Houseplants" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Black Gem', 'Kwik-Krop'
Tags:
#deciduous#shade tree#native tree#tree#edible nuts#nuts#NC native#single trunk#nighttime garden#native garden#woodland#Braham Arboretum#larval host plant#food source fall#food source herbage#coastal UPL#food source hard-mast fruit#mammals#butterfly friendly#moth larvae#Piedmont Mountains FACU#ebh#ebh-fn#native edible#problem for dogs#juglone#problem for horses#non-toxic for cats#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Black Gem', 'Kwik-Krop'
Tags:
#deciduous#shade tree#native tree#tree#edible nuts#nuts#NC native#single trunk#nighttime garden#native garden#woodland#Braham Arboretum#larval host plant#food source fall#food source herbage#coastal UPL#food source hard-mast fruit#mammals#butterfly friendly#moth larvae#Piedmont Mountains FACU#ebh#ebh-fn#native edible#problem for dogs#juglone#problem for horses#non-toxic for cats#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Juglans
    Species:
    nigra
    Family:
    Juglandaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Yellow dye made from fruit husks, seed is used in candy-making, cleaning abrasives, and explosives.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern U.S.A and South Eastern Canada
    Distribution:
    Northeast Canada west to North Dakota, Southwest to Utah South to Texas East to Florida.
    Wildlife Value:
    Larval host for Hickory and Banded Hairstreak butterflies and Luna moth.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Heat, drought, and soil compaction tolerant.
    Edibility:
    Nut is edible
    Dimensions:
    Height: 50 ft. 0 in. - 75 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 50 ft. 0 in. - 70 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Open
    Oval
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    Very Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Brown to black nut inside a fleshy, non-splitting, yellow-green husk that heavily stains skin and clothing. Displays in October. Nut inside is edible.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Single-stemmed catkins 2 ½ to 5 ½ in long, short spiked near twig and yellow-green in color, appearing from April to May. Monoecious.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Insignificant
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    12-24" long leaves with 15-23 leaflets, ovate-lanceolate and finely serrate. 3-lobed leaf scar resembling a monkey face. Leaves drop sporadically during the season. More ovate, more leaflets, and less serrated margins than pecan.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Black
    Dark Brown
    Surface/Attachment:
    Furrowed
    Ridges
    Bark Plate Shape:
    Diamond
    Bark Description:
    Brown ridged and furrowed with rough diamond pattern bark
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Black
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Leaf Scar Shape:
    Encircles a bud
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Pith (Split Longitudinally):
    Chambered
    Stem Description:
    V-shaped leaf scar with a bud nestled inside. The surface has raised lenticels and the pith is chambered.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Moths
    Small Mammals
    Problems:
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Dogs: moldy nuts/hulls can cause tremors and seizures, ingestion of shavings can cause incoordination; Horses: laminitis, colic
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Unknown
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No