), genus of trees of the walnut family (Juglandaceae). The roughly 15 known species are widely dispersed through temperate and tropical regions. The 2 species native to Canada (butternut and black walnut) are found only in the East. Walnuts average 20-30 m high and have horizontally spreading branches. The large, compound leaves consist of 15-23 leaflets. The edible kernel, enclosed in a leathery or woody hull, is used as a table nut, for flavouring desserts (eg, ice cream) and for walnut oil. A yellow dye may be obtained from the fresh bark and from the husk of the fruit itself. Walnuts, usually in scattered stands, may grow in dry areas but prefer fertile, moist, well-drained soil. They are particularly common in shallow valleys and in alluvial plains bordering waterways. The hard, lustrous dark wood, used primarily for veneer, cabinetmaking, panelling and boat building, was common in pioneer times but is now rare.
The hard, lustrous wood was common in pioneer times but is now very rare (artwork by Claire Tremblay).
Links to Other Sites
The Plant List
Search this online database for information about one million plant species from around the world. Also, click on "major plant groups" at the bottom of the page to browse descriptions of species of interest. Fungi and algae are excluded. From the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in the UK and the Missouri Botanical Garden in the US.
Flora of North America
The FNA website features information on the names, taxonomic relationships, continent-wide distributions, and morphological characteristics of all plants native and naturalized found in North America north of Mexico.