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Black Walnut


Family:  Juglandaceae, walnut family
Genus, species:  Juglans nigra 

Leaves are pinnately compound, with a more feathery appearance compared to White Ash leaves. Each leaf has 14 to 24 leaflets. Largest leaflets are located in the center of the leaf. Leaflets are lance-shaped with finely saw-toothed edges.

Bark is dark gray or brown, deeply furrowed.

Male and female flowers are separate but in same tree (monoecious), clustered in catkins.

Fruit is very hard, covered by thick green husk. Husk produces a dark-staining, strong-smelling juice. Husk has been used to make a black dye since colonial times. Nuts are edible. Before eating or storage, nuts should be cured in a dry place for at least two weeks.

Interior of twig has a chambered pith.

Black walnut produces juglone and releases it through its roots. Juglone is a chemical that is toxic (allelopathic) to some nearby competitor plants.

More Information:

The genus name Juglans is from the Latin for "walnut" and the species name nigra is from the Latin for "black."