Walnut (Juglans), 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.