Juglans nigra

Black Walnut




  • native from New England down through Texas
  • hardy to zone 4

Habit and Form

  • large deciduous tree
  • 50' to 75' tall
  • oval, open crown
  • coarse texture
  • medium growth rate

Summer Foliage

  • alternate leaf arrangement
  • pinnately compound leaves
  • one foot to two feet long
  • up to 23 leaflets
  • leaflets are up to 5" long
  • leaflets are serrated
  • dark green leaf color
  • leaves emit odor when crushed

Autumn Foliage

  • yellow fall color


  • monoecious
  • male flowers are catkins, small scaley, cone-like buds
  • female flowers are up to 8-flowered spikes
  • not ornamentally important


  • fruit is a nut
  • semi-fleshy covering green changing to black and breaking open
  • seeds are edible and oily


  • dark brown to grayish black
  • deep narrow furrows
  • diamond-shaped pattern
  • stout stems
  • bitter tasting


  • difficult to transplant
  • prefers moist, well-drained soil, rich and deep soil
  • full sun

Landscape Use

  • for food
  • for fruit
  • lawn trees
  • parks and wide open spaces


  • fruits can be messy

ID Features

  • large pinnately compound leaves with numerous leaflets
  • downy, terminal buds, 0.33" long
  • stout stems
  • leaves emit odor
  • fruit is a nut


  • by seed


'Laciniata' - This is a rare form with leaflets that are fern-like and dissected with fine texture.

© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

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Citation and Acknowledgements: University of Connecticut Plant Database, http://hort.uconn.edu/plants, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.