Dark Light
Eastern Black Walnut
Juglans nigra

I actually didn’t know that the Eastern Black Walnut is in a genus of 20 species, however the only other species in our region is the butternut (which is more and more rare as a result of butternut canker disease).

This tree produces a good nut crop every 2-3 years. It also produces juglone, which is a chemical in the leaves, bark, husks, and roots that inhibits the growth of some plants.

Some people do not like the strong, slightly bitter flavor of these nuts, however they were a staple food for Native Americans.

Size: 50'-75' 
Family: Juglandaceae (Walnut Family)
Habitat: Moist nutrient-rich forests, shade intolerant. 
Identification: Dark brown to almost black bark, alternative even pinnately compound leaves, drooping catkins (male flowers) and less obvious female flowers on the same tree. Round fruits have a thick green skin, about 2" in diameter, that surround a grooved nut with a sweet edible seed. Flowers April, fruits set September-October.
All text and photos copyright © 2022 Middle Way Nature Reserve, unless noted.
Related Posts
pink mountain laurel flowers

Mountain Laurel

Thickets of this stuff is sometimes referred to as "Laurel Hell" because the weaving, spreading branches are almost impossible to walk through.
red sweetshrub flowers

Sweet Shrub

This deciduous shrub has the strangest loveliest flowers, which are quite fragrant and bloom here in central Virginia in the mid-late spring. Crushing the leaves also gives a spicy scent, hence the alternative name "Carolina Allspice."