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Common Walnut

Juglans regia

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Juglandaceae (Walnut)
Deciduous tree
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
30 metres tall
Gardens, hedgerows, parks, woodland.

Green, no petals
Yellowish-green catkins. Male hanging catkins and female upright spikes. Wind pollinated.
The female flowers develop into a green, fleshy husk, each of which contains a walnut. The walnut is brown and wrinkly.
A deciduous tree with pinnate leaves. The glossy leaves are arranged alternate along the stems. They are divided into 5 to 9 oval-shaped leaflets.
The leaves smell lemony, or like lime when crushed.
Other Names:
Ban-nut Tree, California Walnut, Carpathian Walnut, Caucasian Walnut, Chile Walnut, Circassian Walnut, English Walnut, European Walnut, French Nut, French Walnut, Italian Walnut, Madeira Nut, Madeira Walnut, Manchurian Walnut, Persian Walnut, Royal Walnut, Welsh Nut.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Juglans regia, also known as the Common Walnut or Persian Walnut, is a species of flowering plant in the Juglandaceae family. It is native to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, and is widely cultivated for its edible nuts. The species is also used for its timber, and is often grown as an ornamental tree. The tree typically grows to a height of 20–35 meters and is known for its long lifespan and resistance to disease and pests. The nut is edible and is often used as a food source, while the timber is used in furniture and cabinet making.


The Common Walnut, Juglans regia, is a deciduous tree species native to the Balkans and Iran. It is widely cultivated for its edible nuts and attractive wood, making it one of the most valuable tree species in the world.

Walnuts grow best in well-drained soils and are generally considered hardy, able to tolerate frost and cold temperatures. The tree can grow up to 30 meters tall, with a broad, spreading canopy of leaves that provide ample shade.

The leaves of the Common Walnut are pinnate, meaning they are made up of multiple leaflets arranged along a central stalk. The leaflets are typically dark green and glossy, adding to the tree's ornamental value. In the autumn, the leaves turn yellow, providing a striking display of color.

The Common Walnut is best known for its large, round nuts, which are encased in a hard, woody shell. The nuts are an important source of food for both humans and wildlife, and have been cultivated for thousands of years. The tree produces both male and female flowers, with the male flowers appearing in clusters and the female flowers in individual clusters.

The wood of the Common Walnut is also highly valued, and has been used for furniture, flooring, and other decorative items. The wood is characterized by its distinctive grain pattern, which can range from straight to swirling, and its rich, dark brown color.

In addition to its culinary and decorative uses, the Common Walnut has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. The leaves, bark, and nuts of the tree have been used to treat a variety of ailments, including skin conditions, digestive issues, and headaches.

The Common Walnut tree has been widely cultivated and transported around the world, and can now be found growing in many countries including the United States, Europe, and Australia. In addition to being grown for its nuts and wood, it is also a popular ornamental tree, prized for its attractive foliage and stately appearance.

The nut production of the Common Walnut tree typically begins around the age of 10-15 years and can continue for several decades, with peak production typically occurring between the ages of 30-50 years. The nuts are typically harvested in the fall, and are a popular ingredient in a wide range of dishes, from sweet and savory recipes to baked goods and snacks.

The Common Walnut tree is also an important source of oil, which is extracted from the nuts and used for cooking, baking, and in cosmetics and skincare products. Walnut oil is known for its rich, nutty flavor, and is a popular ingredient in salad dressings, marinades, and dips.

The tree is also a valuable source of protein, fiber, and essential fatty acids, making it a nutritious and healthy food choice. Walnuts are often used in vegan and vegetarian diets as a source of plant-based protein and healthy fats.

In addition to its food and oil uses, the Common Walnut tree also has an important role in the environment. The tree provides habitat and food for a wide range of wildlife species, including squirrels, birds, and other animals. The leaves of the tree also play an important role in soil conservation and water retention, helping to prevent soil erosion and conserve water in the surrounding ecosystem.

The cultivation of Common Walnuts has been widespread, with many different cultivars developed to suit specific growing conditions and uses. Some popular cultivars include Chandler, Howard, Franquette, and Hartley, each of which offers unique characteristics.

In conclusion, the Common Walnut is a versatile and valuable tree species with a rich history of cultivation and use. Whether enjoyed as a delicious and nutritious food source, used for its oil and wood, or admired for its ornamental qualities, the Common Walnut is a true treasure of the natural world.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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