Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

Lisa Samuelson, Ph.D.
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Auburn University

Butternut/White Walnut
Juglans cinerea
Juglandaceae

Leaves are alternate, deciduous and pinnately compound with 11-17 leaflets that are clammy-hairy to the touch. Black walnut has up to 23 leaflets. Leaflets are wider towards the middle, whereas black walnut leaflets are wider towards the base. In contrast to black walnut, the rachis usually bears a terminal leaflet. Twigs are stout with monkey-faced leaf scars showing hair on the upper edges (like a mustache) and a brown-purple chambered pith. Bark is light gray with gray-white ridges. Nuts are elliptical, 4-ribbed, deeply corrugated, ridged, and enclosed by a hairy green, sticky, indehiscent husk. Form is up to 30 m (100 ft) in height and 1 m (3 ft) in diameter. Butternut is found on fertile, moist sites in the eastern U.S. but is of limited distribution now because of a canker disease. The wood is used for plywood and trim.

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

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