Walnut
(Juglans regia)
Compound
Pinnate
Alternate
Non-thorny

compound leaf

Winter twig
Winter twig

female flowers
Female flowers

male flowers
Male flowers

tree

fruits

distribution map

The alternate leaves are made up of 3 to 4 pairs of leaflets, with a single, usually larger one at the tip. These leaflets are elliptical, 6 to 12 cm long and hairy all over when young but are later hairless except in the axils of the veins below. The leaf stalks are about 3 cm long.

ID check

Walnut is a deciduous tree with spreading branches, a stout trunk and a grey, fissured bark, reaching  30 m in height. Introduced for its fruit but spreads naturally in the wild in Southern England.

When leaves fall a Y-shaped scar is left on the twig.

Separate male and female flowers occur in June on the same tree. The males in hanging catkins 5 to 15 cm long, the females in tiny, upright, few-flowered spikes.

The round, green fruit 4 to 5 cm across contain the familiar walnut with its edible 'nut ' inside.

Facts

  • The resemblance of the edible nut to the human brain led to the medieval notion that it could cure mental problems.

  • The timber is highly valued by cabinet-makers because of its beautiful graining.

  • Our walnut is a native of Asia Minor, introduced to Europe by the Greeks.

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