Juglans cinerea


Common Names: Butternut, white walnut
Category: Trees
Sub-category: Walnut


Native to the eastern United States and southeast Canada. It is a deciduous tree growing to 20 m tall, and 40 to -80 cm stem diameter, with light gray bark. The leaves are pinnate, 40 to 70 cm long, with 11 to 17 leaflets, each leaflet 5 to 10 cm long and 3 to 5 cm broad. The whole leaf is downy-pubescent, and a somewhat brighter, yellower green than many other tree leaves. The male flowers are inconspicuous yellow-green catkins produced in spring at the same time as the new leaves appear, and the female flowers have light pink stigma. The fruit is a nut, produced in bunches of 2 to 6 together; the nut is oblong-ovoid, 3 to 6 cm long and 2 to 4 cm broad, surrounded by a green husk before maturity in mid autumn. Butternut grows quickly, but is rather short-lived for a tree, rarely living longer than 75 years.

Butternut grows best on stream banks and on well-drained soils. Butternut is found most frequently in coves, on stream benches and terraces, on slopes, in the talus of rock ledges, and on other sites with good drainage.

Edible Notes: The nuts are edible and are usually used in baking and making candies, having an oily texture and pleasant flavor. The meat however is usually difficult to extract, and thus is not commonly found. The juice from the bark (and nut shell) contains a yellow dye that can leave a dark stain on the skin.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.
Sightings