Walnut - Juglans regia
Walnut - Juglanfs regia
Edible plant - novice
Other common names: English Walnut, Common Walnut, Persian Walnut, Carpathian Walnut, Mediera Walnut
Season - Summer
Scientific name meaning: Juglans is the Latin for Walnut trees, derived from Jove (Jupiter) and Glans (Acorn-shaped). Regia is also Latin and means regal, royal, kingly or queenly
A native of south east Europe and Asia, Walnut was introduced to the UK by the Romans. It can be found in woodland, in hedgerows, on wasteground and on roadsides. It is often found in the grounds of country houses and old farm houses
Walnut can reach 35m. The crown is very broad and it tends to have a short trunk
The bright-green leaves are pinnate (split like a feather) with two to eight (2 - 8) pairs of oval leaflets and one oval terminal leaflet.The edges of the leaflets are smooth. when crushed, Walnut leaves smell like furniture polish
Starting off smooth and olive-brown in colour, the bark of walnut forms deep fissures (ridges and valleys) as it ages and becomes a light grey. It can reach up to 2m in diameter
Walnut has male and female flowers appearing in late spring to early summer. The male flowers are green-yellow catkins. The females flowers are small, in groups of two to five ( 2 - 5) with feathery stigmas and no petals
The fruits are in clusters of two to five (2 - 5), green and oval in shape. Inside is a wrinkled seed. As the fruit ripens, a hard shell forms around the seed. When crushed or damaged, the fruits husk smells like furniture polish
Could be confused with the Black Walnut. However, this has darker bark and seven to nine (7 - 9) pairs of leaflets. The leaflets are also thinner and have a pointed tip. However, the fruit of the Black Walnut is also edible
Use as a food The unripe fruit can be sliced and pickled. This must be done before the shell starts to form. The ripe seed can be eaten raw or cooked. The sap from the tree can be consumed and is sweet.
The leaves have been used to make infusions (tea)
Hazards The flesh of the unripe fruit will stain skin yellow-brown
Importance to other species provides a food source for mammals
Use in medicine Walnut has been used to treat kidney and bladder stones, respiratory disorders, inflammation, skin disorders, water retention, diarhhoea, parasites, lethargy, pain, vertigo and cancer.
If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner
Other uses Walnut wood is highly-prized for its grain and colour. Oils, furniture polish, dyes, paints, herbicides and insect repellents are made from different parts of the tree
Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!