Plants and People Project

Black Walnut - Juglans nigra

Native American peoples use the leaves and green rind of the nuts to make a medicine. How Indians Use Wild Plants for Food, Medicine and Crafts.

Walnut trees have compound leaves with many leaflets.

Many people enjoy eating the fresh or cooked nuts. When you collect walnuts under the tree, you should wear gloves. The green rind will stain your skin a brownish black. This stain is used today to stain wood and was used as a dye for fabrics.

If you rub the greenish husk you will note a unique fragrance. Tugging a leaflet can also elicit that odor. it is one way I tell young walnuts from sumac and ash trees. They also have compound leaves.

Walnut wood is valuable for quality furniture, veneers, gun stocks and musical instruments. PA DCNR

The roots, barks and nuts can also used to create a brown and black dye for wool and cotton. Natural Dyes and Home Dyeing

The root and bark of walnuts contain a chemical that is harmful to people and plants. Smithsonian Institution - National Zoo

This chemical is called Juglone. Trees for Problem Landscape Sites.

Tomato plants and apple trees do not survive near walnut trees. Audubon Field Guide to Trees of the Eastern Region

The nuts of the tree are food for birds, squirrels and other wildlife. Animals also use the trees for shelter and nesting sites to raise their young. Mast source






DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past. Be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

Identification and other facts / More facts / Further Facts


black walnut tree showing compound leaves

Walnuts trees have compound leaves with 15 to 23 leaflets.

walnuts on tree

walnut tree bark

walnut tree bark

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Posted 7/26/05 Cindy O'Hora