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Juglans neotropica - Diels

Common Name Andean Walnut
Family Juglandaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Found in drier to very wet forests at elevations of 1,600 - 3,000 metres[337 ]. Trees are often found along stream banks and field boundaries, where they regenerate freely[349 ].
Range Northern and western S. America - Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Juglans neotropica Andean Walnut

Juglans neotropica Andean Walnut


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Other common names are Colombian Walnut, Tropical Walnut, Ecuadorian Walnut, nogal, cedar negro, cedar nogal, and nodal Bogotano. Found in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, Juglans neotropica or Andean Walnut is a slow-growing tree that is threatened by habitat loss. It grows up to 40 m in height, with red-brown bark and an oval-shaped crown. The bole is conical, straight, and up to 60 cm in diameter. The bark is thick and cracked. The leaves are compound and used as a tonic when boiled. The fruits are yellow-green when ripe. The seed is edible and the sap of fruit husk is a strong dye. The bark is a tannin source. The wood is ideal for decorative veneer, cabinet-making, interior carpentry, decors, guitars, packing boxes, etc. It also makes a good fuel and is used in charcoal-making.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Juglans neotropica is a deciduous Tree growing to 25 m (82ft) by 18 m (59ft) at a slow rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant is not wind tolerant.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Jugans andina Triana & Cortés Juglans columbiensis Dode Juglans equatoriensis Linden Juglans granate

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Oil  Seed
Edible Uses: Oil

Seed - raw or cooked. Eaten fresh, or used in various preparations[335 ]. The seed is larger than the common walnut (Juglans regia) and has a rich and pleasant flavour, though it is contained in a very thick, bony shell[301 , 349 , 402 ]. The seed is rich in oil[337 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

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.

The boiled leaves are used as a tonic[504 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Charcoal  Containers  Dye  Fuel  Furniture  Oil  Rootstock  Tannin  Wood

Other Uses The bark is a good source of tannins[337 ]. Used locally as a rootstock for J. regia[317 ]. A yellow dye is obtained from the unripened fruits[337 ]. A very fine black dye is obtained from the ripe fruits[337 ]. Dyes are obtained from the bark and leaves[349 ]. A brown is obtained from the leaves[508 ]. The heartwood is dark, purplish-brown, well demarcated from the light brown sapwood[453 ]. The wood is rather heavy, firm, durable, compact and strong[453 ]. Straight or roey-grained; medium or coarse-textured; it is easy to work; takes a smooth and fairly lustrous finish and holds its place well[453 ]. A beautiful wood, it is used in decorative veneer, fine cabinetmaking, interior carpentry, turned utensils, guitars and decoration. It is also used in packing boxes and construction and for tri-plex[337 , 504 ]. The wood makes a good fuel and is used to make charcoal[349 , 402 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Management: Standard  Regional Crop  Staple Crop: Protein-oil

A plant of higher elevations of the tropics, growing at elevations of 1,600 - 3,000 metres[335 , 337 ]. Grows in areas of low to medium rainfall with an annual precipitation of 1,000 to 3,000 mm that is distributed throughout the year[335 , 337 ]. Prefers an average temperature that ranges between 14 - 22°c[337 ]. Requires a deep well-drained loam and a sunny position sheltered from strong winds[1 , 11 ]. Prefers a slightly alkaline soil[200 ]. Prefers soils of loose texture, muddy, loose-sandy (loose soils), with a neutral to slightly acid pH[337 ]. It does not tolerate low pH or calcareous soils and needs deep and fertile soils[337 ]. It has low growth in poor, shallow, and flooded soils[337 ]. Seed nuts collected from Ecuador have been planted in New Zealand and have shown very rapid growth, reaching up to 1.5 metres growth per year during the first few years[349 ]. After 10 years, the trees were more than 10 metres high and bearing their third annual crop of nuts[349 ]. No cross-pollination is required for nut production and hybridization appears to be possible[349 ]. Plants are very susceptible to fire damage[337 ]. Trees have a dense canopy which tends to reduce plant growth below them. 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 ].

Carbon Farming

  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Regional Crop  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally, Examples in this broad category include perennial cottons and many nuts and staple fruits.
  • Staple Crop: Protein-oil  (16+ percent protein, 16+ percent oil). Annuals include soybeans, peanuts, sunflower seeds. Perennials include seeds, beans, nuts, and fruits such as almond, Brazil nut, pistachio, walnut, hazel, and safou.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plant 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 , 113 ]. Germination rates are usually less than 50%[227 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Andean Walnut

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Found In

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

Colombia; Ecuador; Peru, Andes, South America, Venezuela,

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 : Status: Endangered A1acd+2cd

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Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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