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Juglans cinerea - L.

Common Name Butternut - White Walnut, Butternut
Family Juglandaceae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards The naphthoquinone constituents may cause gastric (stomach) irritation. Avoid in patients with gallstones [301].
Habitats Usually found in rich moist soils of woods and river terraces[43, 82], but it also grows on dry rocky soils, especially if these are on limestone[226]..
Range Eastern N. America - New Brunswick to Georgia, west to Arkansas and North Dakota.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Juglans cinerea Butternut - White Walnut, Butternut


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Llez
Juglans cinerea Butternut - White Walnut, Butternut
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Llez

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Rounded.


Physical Characteristics

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Juglans cinerea is a deciduous Tree growing to 25 m (82ft) by 20 m (65ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from October to November. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and is pollinated by Wind. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Wallia cinerea. Nux cinerea

Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Oil  Sap  Seed
Edible Uses: Oil  Sweetener

Seed - eaten raw or ground into a powder and used with cereal flours in making cakes, biscuits, muffins, bread etc[183]. Oily and sweet tasting with a rich agreeable flavour[11, 62, 63. 101, 183]. The oil in the seed is not very stable and the seed soon becomes rancid once it is opened[82]. The kernel is usually only about 20% by weight of the whole seed[160] and is hard to extract[226]. The unripe fruit can be pickled[183]. The seed is 3 - 6cm in diameter and is produced in clusters of 3 - 5 fruits[82, 229]. An edible oil is obtained from the seed[101, 117, 183], it tends to go rancid quickly. The sweet sap is tapped in spring and can be used as a refreshing drink[101]. It can also be boiled down to a syrup or sugar, or added to maple syrup[82, 101, 117, 159, 183].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Astringent  Cholagogue  Febrifuge  Laxative  Odontalgic  Stomachic

Butternut was used by various native North American Indian tribes as a laxative and tonic remedy to treat a variety of conditions including rheumatic and arthritic joints, headaches, dysentery, constipation and wounds[254]. In modern herbalism it is considered to be a valuable remedy for chronic constipation, gently encouraging regular bowel movements. It is especially beneficial when combined with a carminative herb such as Angelica archangelica[254]. The quills or inner bark are one of the few potent laxatives that are safe to use in pregnancy [301. Butternut also lowers cholesterol levels and promotes the clearance of waste products by the liver[254]. An infusion of the inner-bark is used as a cholagogue, febrifuge, mild laxative and stomachic[4, 46, 61, 82, 159, 165, 213, 222]. It is effective in small doses without causing cramps[222]. The bark is best collected in the autumn[213]. Best collected in late spring according to another report[4]. An infusion of the dried outer bark is used in the treatment of toothache and dysentery[226]. The oil from the nuts is used in the treatment of tapeworms and fungal infections[4, 222].

Other Uses

Dye  Herbicide  Oil  Wood

A yellow to orange dye is obtained from the seed husks[46, 61, 82] and from the bark[57]. It is dark brown[95, 101]. It does not require a mordant[169]. The seed husks can be dried and stored for later use[169]. A light brown dye is obtained from the young twigs, leaves, buds and unripe fruit[117, 169, 213]. It does not require a mordant[169]. The leaves can also be dried and stored for later use[169]. A black dye is obtained from the young roots[257]. Plants produce chemicals which can inhibit the growth of other plants. These chemicals are dissolved out of the leaves when it rains and are washed down to the ground below, reducing the growth of plants under the tree[18, 20, 159]. The roots of this species produce substances that are toxic to many plant species, especially apples (Malus species), members of the Ericaceae, Potentilla spp and the white pines (certain Pinus spp.)[200, 201]. Wood - coarse-grained, light, soft, not strong, very attractive[46, 61, 82, 117]. It weighs 25lb per cubic foot[235]. It is not as valuable a crop as the black walnut (J. nigra), but is used indoors for furniture, doors etc[229].

Cultivation details

Management: Standard  Regional Crop  Staple Crop: Protein-oil

Landscape Uses:Specimen. Requires a deep well-drained loam and a position sheltered from strong winds[1, 11]. Prefers a slightly alkaline soil[200]. Prefers a sandy soil with a pH around 6 to 7[160]. Dislikes compacted soils or clay sub-soils, otherwise trees grow well on most soils[160]. This is the most cold-resistant of the walnuts[117], tolerating temperatures down to about -35°c in N. America when fully dormant[160]. It is less hardy in Britain, unfortunately, because the wood does not ripen so well here due to our cooler summers. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts[200]. Sometimes cultivated in N. America for its edible seed, there are some named varieties[63, 117, 183]. Trees can come into bearing in 6 - 10 years from seed and fruiting is usually biennial[160]. The trees are quite short-lived, seldom exceeding 80 - 90 years[229]. They require about 105 frost-free days in order to ripen a crop in N. America[160]. Unfortunately, they have not proved successful as a nut tree in Britain, usually failing to produce a crop[11]. This is probably due to our cooler summers[11]. It is sometimes planted as a timber tree in Denmark and Rumania[50]. Plants produce a deep taproot and are intolerant of root disturbance. Seedlings should be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible and given some protection for their first few winters since they are somewhat tender when young[1, 11]. Trees cast a dense shade which reduces the amount of species able to grow below them[201]. We have no specific information for this species, but the roots of several members of this genus produce substances that are toxic to many plant species, especially apples (Malus species), members of the Ericaceae, Potentilla spp and the white pines (certain Pinus spp.)[200]. The leaves of many species also secrete substances that have an inhibitory affect on plants growing underneath them. All in all this is not a very good companion plant[K]. Plants should only be pruned when they are fully dormant in winter or when they are in full leaf, otherwise any cuts will bleed profusely[200]. Hybridizes with J. ailantifolia, there are some named varieties of this hybrid that are grown for their edible seed[160]. Special Features:North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

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Propagation

The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in individual deep pots in a cold frame[80]. You need to protect it from mice, birds, squirrels etc. The seed usually germinates in late winter or the spring. Plant out the seedlings into their permanent positions in early summer and give some protection from the cold for their first winter or two. The seed can also be stored in cool moist conditions (such s the salad compartment of a fridge) over the winter and sown in early spring but it may then require a period of cold stratification before it will germinate[78, 80].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Juglans ailanthifoliaJapanese Walnut31
Juglans ailanthifolia cordiformisHeartseed Walnut41
Juglans californicaCalifornia Walnut, Southern California walnut21
Juglans cathayensisChinese Walnut30
Juglans hindsiiHind's Black Walnut, Northern California walnut, Paradox hybrid walnut30
Juglans intermediaHind's Black Walnut, Northern California walnut, Paradox hybrid walnuH30
Juglans majorArizona Walnut20
Juglans mandschuricaManchurian Walnut31
Juglans microcarpaTexas Walnut, Little walnut, Stewart's little walnut20
Juglans neotropicaAndean Walnut32
Juglans nigraBlack Walnut33
Juglans olanchanaOlancho walnut, Central American walnut20
Juglans regiaWalnut, English walnut, Persian Walnut,43
Juglans regia fallaxWalnut30
Juglans regia kamaoniaWalnut33
Juglans sinensis 31
Juglans x bisbyiBuartnut30

 

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