A botanical mystery

A friend of mine was up at the Squash Club in Exeter yesterday and showed me some leaves and the fruit of a tree he had found in Heavitree Park – it was obviously not a native species but nevertheless it was a challenge I couldn’t ignore!

Black walnut leaf
The leaves looked a bit almondy …..

Black walnut fruit
The fruit looked a bit peachy …..

Black walnut nut
And the nut looked bit walnuty…

But none of it was quite right – overall it looked like a walnut but common walnut has a terminal leaf not just pairs, walnut fruits are quite oval and not round and walnut seeds are not quite that shape.

Collins tree guide
I looked it up in my Collins Tree Guide – a great easy to use book and it turned out to be a black walnut – an American species often planted as an ornamental species – for the nuts to taste good it needs to be a bit warmer than it is in Devon but nevertheless nice to see and solve the mystery.

One thought on “A botanical mystery

  1. This is very interesting; my wife and I brought home 14 of these fruits from Saltram Park last week and Katrina identified them as black walnut, from Roger Phillips’ “Trees in Britain, Europe and North America.” The nuts have been extracted and dried (leaving me with brown-dyed fingers) and one has been opened to reveal a small amount of very tasty walnut kernel. So these are available on the National Trust!

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