Butternut

Silhouette - butternut
  • Latin name: Juglans cinerea L.
  • French name: Noyer cendré
  • Synonym(s): White walnut
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 19250
Description

Leaves

  • Leaf with detail of nearly stalkless leaflets - butternut
  • Leaflet with detail of  toothed margin - butternut

Form

  • 11–17 almost stalkless leaflets
  • Sticky when young
  • Upper surface rough
  • Lower surface densely hairy
  • Terminal leaflet usually present, about the same size as the adjacent leaflets
  • Lateral leaflets progressively smaller toward the leaf base
  • Central stalk stout, hairy

Length

  • Leaf and central stalk 30–60 cm

Colour

  • Upper surface yellowish-green
  • Lower surface paler

Buds

  • Lateral bud and leaf scar - butternut

Form

  • Terminal bud present, elongated
  • Somewhat flattened, blunt-tipped
  • Hairy, with lobed outer scales
  • Leaf scars flat on upper margin
  • Edged with a pad of hairs

Length

  • 12–18 mm

Colour

  • Pale yellow

Twigs

  • Winter twig - butternut

Form

  • Stout, hairy

Colour

  • Orange-yellow
  • Pith reddish-brown

Flowers

Form

  • Pollen flowers in catkins
  • 8–12 stamens
  • Seed flowers in erect clusters of 4–7 

Length 

  • Pollen catkins 6–14 cm
  • Seed flowers minute

Structure

  • Monoecious

Floral timing

  • Late May or early June

Fruits

  • Fruit with husk - butternut

Form

  • Elongated, pointed
  • In drooping clusters of 1–5
  • Husk with dense sticky hairs
  • Surface of nut shell with irregular, jagged ridges
  • Kernel sweet, oily

Length

  • 5–8 cm

Structure

  • Nut

Bark

Form

  • Smooth when young
  • Becoming ridged and grooved with narrow, shallow, dark fissures and wide, irregular, flat-topped, intersecting ridges

Colour

  • Light grey when young, becoming dark grey

Wood

Texture

  • Light, soft, weak

Colour

  • Reddish-brown

Morphology

  • Semiring-porous, coarse-grained

Uses

  • Cabinetry and turnery

Size

Height

  • To 25 m

Diameter

  • To 75 cm

Maximum age

  • 80 years

Tree form

  • Silhouette - butternut

Forest-grown

Trunk

  • Often short, forked

Crown

  • Open, broad
  • Irregular in outline and rounded on top
  • A few large ascending branches
  • Smaller side branches tending to bend downward,
  • then upward at the tips

Root system

  • Deep, wide-spreading
  • Usually with a taproot

Habitat

Site

  • Varied
  • Dry rocky soils (particularly those of limestone origin)
  • Best growth on well-drained, fertile soils in shallow valleys
  • and on gradual slopes

Light tolerance

  • Intolerant of shade

Associated species

  • Singly or in small groups mixed with other species

Range

A species of eastern North America
In Canada, southern New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario

COSEWIC Status

Endangered

Photos
  • Butternut
  • Butternut
  • Butternut
  • Butternut
  • Butternut
  • Butternut
  • Butternut
  • Butternut
  • Butternut
Distribution map
Distribution map - butternut
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