Walnut (Juglans sp.)
Although they are not as commonly valued as ornamental landscape trees, Walnuts are found in many parks and yards as specimen shade trees. They produce fruits (nuts) which some folks feel are messy on a lawn, but which are, of course, commercially very valuable. Black Walnut (Jugens nigra) is grown in much of the US, while the English/Persian Walnut (Juglans regia) is cultivated in orchards primarily in California and Oregon. Among all the Walnuts, the latter species, English Walnut, is considered the most ornamental and grows in the east as far north as Boston, though it does not necessarily bear fruit that far north. Butternut (Juglans cinerea) is the hardiest of all the walnuts and is found mostly in the northeast and mid-Atlantic states. Walnut, especially Black Walnut, is important for its fine-grained wood used in furniture manufacture. The word walnut is a derivative of “Gaul nut.” Gaul, the name for France in Roman times, was one of the places to which this English (Persian) tree spread at the end of the Ice Age.