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Black Walnut

Scientific Name: Juglan Nigra

Family: Juglandaceae

Other names: Warnit Tree

Herbarium Image: Coming Soon


A large, stately, deciduous tree that used to be found throughout the eastern United States, however, becoming harder to find. It thrives in well-drained neutral soils with part shade to full sun. The leaves are alternate, pinnately compound with 15-23 leaflets, pinnately netted and stemless.

Traditional Medicinal Use

Traditionally, however, the Waccamaw Siouan would crack and use the nut placed directly on skin to draw out ringworm.  Similarly, the Comanche used the leaves to treat ringworm (1).  The Lumbee history have a history of using bark as a fish poison. The Cherokee used the bark in a tea to treat small pox (2)

Doctor Holding Patient's Hand

Black walnut oil has shown activity against oral bacteria and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a major cause of hospital-acquired infections. The active ingredient in black walnut is juglone. (3)

Family Cooking

Throughout the country, black walnut is a popular American food and is used in pudding, pies, cakes, as well as eaten alone. The Lumbee use black walnuts in icecream, which tastes very similar to butter pecan icecream. 

Several Open Books

1. Boughman, A.L.a.O., L.O. , Herbal Remedies of the Lumbee Indians. 2003, Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Company, Inc.

2. Hamel, P.  and Chiltoskey, M. Cherokee Plants and Their Uses -- A 400 Year History. 1975, Sylva, N.C.: Herald Publishing Co.

3. Payal Rathi et al. Study on Antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of Walnut (Juglans nigra) Oil. Int.J.Curr.Res.Chem.Pharma.Sci.1(7):51-55

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