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Similar but less problematic plants:
Carya illinoinensis Carya illinoinensis
Juglans regia is often confused with:
Carya tomentosa Tree form (Guilford County, NC)-Early Fall
Juglans cinerea Form
Juglans nigra Juglans nigra
Native alternative(s) for Juglans regia:
Juglans cinerea Form
Juglans nigra Juglans nigra
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Carya ovata Tree form (Guilford County, NC)-Early Fall
Juglans nigra Juglans nigra
Quercus nigra Quercus nigra

Juglans regia

Phonetic Spelling
JU-glanz RE-gee-a
Description

English Walnut is a broadleaf deciduous tree that usually grows 40 to 60 feet tall and equally as wide and is cultivated for its sweet nuts. It has a spreading, rounded crown. The bark is gray and smooth, but it develops ridges with age. The leaves are pinnately compound with 5 to 11 oblong leaflets and have a citrus fragrance when crushed. Yellow-greenish flowers appear from May to June. The male flowers are catkins, and the female flowers appear in clusters. The female flower produces the edible nut. Each nut is covered in a smooth green husk that turns brown as it matures. The shell of the nut is very thin and wrinkled, ripening in the fall. The tree will begin to produce nuts when it is 4 to 6 years old, but it will generally produce a good crop of fruit after the tree is about 15 to 20 years old. 

This tree is native to Europe and Central Asia. It is grown for commercial purposes on the West Coast of the United States. About 99% of all commercially produced walnuts are grown in California. It is also grown in many areas of the United States as an ornamental tree.

The genus name, Juglans, is derived from two Latin words, jovis, which means Jupiter, and glans meaning an acorn or nut. The specific epithet, regia, is defined as kingly or royal and references the quality of the fruits.

The English Walnut prefers full sun, and moist, rich, loamy, well-drained soils. It is intolerant to shade, and poor or wet soils. It is very difficult to transplant due to its deep tap root. This tree doesn't do well in hot, humid climates; therefore, pecans trees are a better choice in the southern United States.

This ornamental tree is best planted in a large landscape area. 

Seasons of Interest:

Bark:  Winter     Bloom:  Spring      Foliage:  Spring, Summer, and Fall      Fruits:  Fall

Quick ID Hints:

  • deciduous tree, 40 to 60 feet tall, spreading, rounded crown
  • gray and smooth bark, develops ridges with a diamond pattern
  • odd-pinnately compound leaves 12 to 18 inches long with 5 to 11 oblong leaflets with a citrus fragrance when crushed
  • male flowers are catkins and female flowers appear in clusters
  • fruit is a thin shell nut encased in a green to brown husk, maturing in the fall

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: The English Walnut has no serious insect or disease problems. Anthracnose, bacterial blight, root rot, canker, leaf spot, and shoot dieback can occur. Potential insects include webworms and caterpillars that like to chew on the foliage. The roots of this tree produce a chemical known as juglones. This chemical is toxic to other plants including azaleas, rhododendron, blueberries, peonies, tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. The litter from the nuts can be messy in the fall.

VIDEO created by Ryan Contreras for “Landscape Plant Materials I:  Deciduous Hardwoods and Conifers or Landscape Plant Materials II:  Spring Flowering Trees and Shrubs” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Carpathian'
  • 'Chandler'
  • 'Franquette'
  • 'Hartley'
'Carpathian', 'Chandler', 'Franquette', 'Hartley'
Tags:
#deciduous#shade tree#full sun tolerant#moth caterpillar host#fragrant leaves#nuts#nighttime garden#edible fruits#fruits fall#larval host plant#deciduous tree#messy fruits#food source hard mast fruit#mammals#hickory horndevil moth#shade intolerant#full sun#landscape plant sleuths course#wildlife friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Carpathian'
  • 'Chandler'
  • 'Franquette'
  • 'Hartley'
'Carpathian', 'Chandler', 'Franquette', 'Hartley'
Tags:
#deciduous#shade tree#full sun tolerant#moth caterpillar host#fragrant leaves#nuts#nighttime garden#edible fruits#fruits fall#larval host plant#deciduous tree#messy fruits#food source hard mast fruit#mammals#hickory horndevil moth#shade intolerant#full sun#landscape plant sleuths course#wildlife friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Juglans
    Species:
    regia
    Family:
    Juglandaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The English Walnut is grown commercially for its edible nuts. The wood is used to build furniture, cabinets, and gunstocks. The English Walnut was a folk remedy for a multitude of ailments including anthrax, asthma, backache, colic, and rheumatism.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Grafting
    Layering
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe to Central Asia
    Distribution:
    Native: Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon-Syria, North Caucasus, Pakistan, Poland, Transcaucasus, Turkey, and Wet Himalaya. Introduced: Albania, Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Cyprus, Denmark, East Himalaya, France, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Inner Mongolia, Italy, Kazakhstan, Korea, Laos, Libya, Mexico Southwest, Morocco, Nepal, Norway, Oman, Portugal, Romania, Sicilia, South European Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Tibet, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United States, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yugoslavia.
    Wildlife Value:
    Fruit is eaten by small mammals. This plant supports Hickory Horndevil (Citheronia regalis) larvae which have one brood and appear from May to mid-September. Adult Hickory Horndevil moths do not feed. Also a larval host plant to the Luna moth.
    Edibility:
    The nuts are edible. They may be eaten fresh, roasted, and salted.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 40 ft. 0 in. - 60 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 40 ft. 0 in. - 60 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is a round nut that is encased in a green, semi-fleshy husk that turns brown. The nut measures up to 2 inches long. It matures in the fall and has a very thin wrinkled shell. The nut is thin, smooth, and has shallow furrows. The meat of the nut is creamy white and sweet.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Male flowers are single-stemmed catkins that measure up to 6 inches long. The female flowers appear in clusters of 3 to 9 as the leaves emerge or immediately after. Blooms occur from May to June.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are green, pinnately compound, and measure 12 to 18 inches long with entire margins. but sometimes serrate. Each leaf has an odd number of leaflets, up to 5 to 11 leaflets including a terminal leaflet. The terminal leaflet is the largest and the leaves become progressively smaller toward the petiole. Each leaflet is oblong, and the largest leaflets are 2 to 6 inches long. The abaxial vein axils have tufts of hair. The leaves emerge in the spring. They are fragrant when crushed. In the fall, the leaf color is a poor to fair yellow color.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Fissured
    Ridges
    Smooth
    Bark Plate Shape:
    Diamond
    Bark Description:
    The bark is smooth, and olive-brown when young. The bark is light gray and has flat ridges and develops a diamond pattern.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Buds:
    Hairy
    Stem Bud Terminal:
    Cluster of terminal buds
    Pith (Split Longitudinally):
    Chambered
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    The stems are stout, light brown, with a buff-colored chambered pith, terminal buds are large, broadly pointed, often paired and pubescent, lateral buds are much smaller,
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Nighttime Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Moths
    Small Mammals
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Problems:
    Messy