Nature's Restaurant:

Fields, Forests & Wetlands Foods of Eastern North America

A Complete Wild Food Guide

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Butternut tree in yard

The Butternut tree. (By: H. Zell. GNU Free Documentation License)


Season: Fall


Urban, Rural or Both: Both


Butternuts (Juglans cinerea). Occasionally referred to as the White Walnut. Basically treat as Black Walnuts, just a different shape - more oblong, rather than round like the black walnut. The shell does seem a bit thinner. I have far less experience with them, as they seem harder to find in my area. I have read that the taste of the nuts can be variable with these. That makes sense to me, as though I think they are very good tasting, the ones I had were not as good as Black Walnuts, however, I've read many say that these are better tasting than Black Walnuts.

On the Black Walnuts page I go into more detail about collecting, cleaning and using this type of nut.



juci_004_lhd

Details of the Butternut. (USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database)

Growing this plant in your home garden:

A great tree with great tasting nuts, but the issue of growing it is complicated by a few factors. For detailed growing instructions, go to my Wild Foods Home Garden website Butternut tree page.. I just want to say though, in most cases you are far better off growing the Black Walnut as it is a far hardier tree than the Butternut. The Butternut can be a very frustrating tree to grow.


Description:


Butternuts (Juglans cinerea) range. Distribution map courtesy of the USGS Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center, originally from "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr..


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The Butternut. (by: H. Zell. CC BY-SA 3.0)


NAS-031_Juglans_cinerea

Beautiful color drawing over 100 years old.


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Butternut tree drawing. (USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 1: 579)


juci_002_lvp

Butternut tree leaf and bark. (Robert H. Mohlenbrock, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA NRCS. 1995. Northeast wetland flora: Field office guide to plant species. Northeast National Technical Center, Chester.)


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A Butternut with the outer husk removed. (USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database)


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Single Butternut leaf with 15 leaflets. (W.D. Brush, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database)


juci_007_lvp.jpg

Butternut with husk (above) and with husk removed (below). (W.D. Brush, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database)





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Important Notes when Identifying
Rules & Cautions
Dangerous Plants to Avoid Touching
Disclaimer


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