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walnut

walnut, common name for some members of the Juglandaceae, a family of chiefly deciduous, resinous trees characterized by large and aromatic compound leaves. Species of the walnut family are indigenous mostly to the north temperate zone, but also range from Central America along the Andes to Argentina and through tropical Asia to Java and New Guinea.

Common Species and Their Uses

Several trees of the Juglandaceae are of commercial importance for the edible nuts and for lumber. The "nuts" (they are actually drupelike), usually enclosed in a leathery or woody hull, include many of the most valuable food nuts of the United States—the walnut and the butternut of the walnut genus Juglans and the pecan, hickory nut, pignut, and mockernut of the hickory genus Carya. The single-seeded nuts contain no endosperm; the edible portion is the corrugated, meaty seed leaves of the embryo itself. Lumber is obtained chiefly from Juglans, Carya, and Engelhardia. The latter genus is now restricted to East Asia, but fossil trees have been found in the United States. Species of these and other genera (e.g., Pterocarya, the Asian wingnuts) are often planted as ornamental shade trees.

The walnut genus Juglans (from Lat. Jovis glans=nut of Jove) is the largest and most widely distributed genus of the family. The dark timber of the black walnut (J. nigra), found in hardwood forests in the eastern half of North America, and of the Persian, or English, walnut (J. regia), native to W Asia, is unusually hard and durable and is valued for furniture, interior paneling, gunstocks, musical instruments, and other uses. Black walnut has been the foremost cabinet wood of North America since colonial times.

The closer-grained English walnut, usually sold as lumber under the name Circassian walnut, is widely cultivated in S Europe and the Orient and has been introduced with great success into California, now the major producing area of the world. The nut of this tree is more easily extracted from the shell than that of the black walnut and is the one usually sold commercially for use as a table nut and for confectionery, flavorings, and sometimes pickling. A decoction of the leaves, bark, and hulls has been used for a brown wool dye and the crushed leaves for an insect repellent.

The butternut, or white walnut (J. cinerea), of approximately the same range as the black walnut, has a sweet and oily nut that is gathered locally but is not of commercial importance. The butternut is also timbered; the wood is softer than that of the black and English walnuts. Sugar is sometimes obtained from its sap, and the hulls yield a yellow to gray dye that gave color to the homespun of pioneers and to the "butternut" uniforms of some Confederate soldiers. The inner root bark, called butternut bark, has been used in domestic remedies, as have the hulls of the English walnut. Other American and Old World walnuts are also used and esteemed locally for timber, dyes, and food.

Classification

The walnut family is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Juglandales.

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Juglans

Juglans (walnut; family Juglandaceae) A genus of deciduous, nut-bearing trees, up to 30 m tall, that have twisting, spreading branches. They have large, oily, deeply lobed cotyledons. The leaves are compound. Male and female catkins occur on the same tree, the male catkins dangling in the wind, the female catkins upright. They produce oval, green fruits (a drupe) with a fleshy exocarp and a bony endocarp (the shell, see PERICARP), which splits down the midrib. The wrinkled, woody nut is eaten fresh or pickled, and used in desserts, cakes, and confectionery. The most popular garden species are J. regia (Persian walnut), J. nigra (black walnut), and J. cinerea of N. America, the butter-nut. The wood is used for furniture. There are 21 species, occurring mainly in northern temperate regions, but extending to the tropics and native to Asia and America.

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walnuts

walnuts The rough‐shelled English walnut (so called because for centuries English ships carried it world‐wide), black walnut, hickory nut, and butternut are all botanically walnuts. Common English walnut is Juglans regia. A 60‐g portion (nine nuts), is a rich source of vitamin E, copper, and selenium; a good source of protein, niacin, iron, and vitamin B1; a source of calcium and zinc; contains 40 g of fat, of which 10% is saturated and 75% mono‐unsaturated; provides 3 g of dietary fibre; supplies 400 kcal (1670 kJ).

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walnut

wal·nut / ˈwôlˌnət/ • n. 1. the large wrinkled edible seed of a deciduous tree, consisting of two halves contained within a hard shell that is enclosed in a green fruit. 2. (also walnut tree) the tall tree (genus Juglans, family Juglandaceae) that produces this nut, with compound leaves and valuable ornamental timber. Its several species include the common (or English) walnut (J. regia) and the black walnut (J. nigra).

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"walnut." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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walnut

walnut walnuts and pears you plant for your heirs proverbial saying, mid 17th century; meaning that both trees are traditionally slow growing, so that the benefit will be felt by future generations.

See also a woman, a dog, and a walnut tree.

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walnut

walnut Deciduous tree native to North and South America, Europe and Asia. It has smoother bark than hickory, to which it is related, and is grown for timber, ornament, and nuts. Height: to 50m (165ft). Family Juglandaceae; genus Juglans.

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walnut

walnut Late OE. walh-hnutu (once), corr. to MLG. wallnut, MDu. walnote (Du. walnoot), ON. walhnot; Gmc. formation on *walχaz foreign and *χnut- NUT.

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walnut

walnut See JUGLANS.

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walnut

walnutabut, but, butt, cut, glut, gut, hut, intercut, jut, Mut, mutt, nut, phut, putt, rut, scut, shortcut, shut, slut, smut, strut, tut, undercut •sackbut • scuttlebutt • catgut •midgut • Vonnegut • rotgut • haircut •offcut • cross-cut • linocut • crew cut •woodcut • uppercut • chestnut •hazelnut • peanut • wing nut • cobnut •locknut • walnut • groundnut •doughnut (US donut) • coconut •butternut

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