walnut


walnut
/wawl"nut', -neuht/, n.
1. the edible nut of trees of the genus Juglans, of the North Temperate Zone. Cf. walnut family.
2. the tree itself.
3. the wood of such a tree.
4. Northeastern U.S. the hickory nut.
5. any of various fruits or trees resembling the walnut.
6. a somewhat reddish shade of brown, as that of the heartwood of the black walnut tree.
[bef. 1050; ME; OE wealh-hnutu lit., foreign nut; see WELSH, NUT]

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Any of about 20 species of deciduous trees in the genus Juglans, family Juglandaceae.

Black walnut (J. nigra) of eastern North America and English, or Persian, walnut (J. regia), native to Iran, are valuable timber trees that produce edible nuts. The butternut (J. cinerea) of eastern North America also produces an edible nut. The walnut family contains an additional seven genera of flowering plants, found mainly in the northern temperate zone in a variety of habitats. Pecan and hickory are among the many family members that are prized for both their edible nuts and their strong, attractive woods, especially noted for their grain patterns and lustre. Leaves of the walnut family are feather-like; tiny, resinous scales that look like yellow dots on the undersurface of the leaflets give Juglans species a pungent aroma.

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▪ tree and nut
      any of about 20 species of deciduous trees constituting the genus Juglans of the family Juglandaceae, native to North and South America, southern Europe, Asia, and the West Indies. The trees have long leaves with 5 to 23 short-stalked leaflets; male and female reproductive organs are borne in different, petalless flower clusters on the same tree; the twigs contain a many-chambered pith; and the fruit is a woody nut enclosed in a thick husk. black walnut (J. nigra) of eastern North America and English, or Persian, walnut (J. regia), native to Iran, are valuable timber trees that produce edible nuts. The butternut (J. cinerea) of eastern North America also produces an edible nut. See also butternut.

      A black walnut tree usually is between 20 and 30 m (about 65 and 100 feet) tall and has a trunk about 60 to 90 cm (2 to 3 feet) in diameter, with a deeply furrowed, dark brown or grayish black bark. The leaves, about 30 to 60 cm long, consist of 15 to 23 leaflets borne on very short stalks. The nut contains a sweet, oily seed and is enclosed in a yellow-green, hairy husk. Black walnut trees are also planted for ornament and are cultivated for the wood and for a dye found in the fruit husks. Black walnut grows slowly, maturing on good soils in about 150 years; it may have a life span of more than 250 years.

      The English walnut, cultivated for many years in England, is now grown in parts of North and South America, both as an ornamental and for commercial nut production. A tree produces fine-quality nuts only on fertile, well-drained soils of medium-heavy texture. The round-tipped leaflets have smooth margins, and the terminal leaflet is the largest. The leaflets of native North American walnuts are largest toward the centre of the leaf, and have toothed margins.

      The dark, fine-grained wood of English and black walnuts is used for furniture, panelling, and gunstocks.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Walnut — Wal nut, n. [OE. walnot, AS. wealh hnutu a Welsh or foreign nut, a walnut; wealh foreign, strange, n., a Welshman, Celt (akin to OHG. Walh, properly, a Celt, from the name of a Celtic tribe, in L. Volcae) + hnutu a nut; akin to D. walnoot, G.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Walnut — ist der Name folgender US amerikanischer Ortschaften: Walnut (Illinois) Walnut (Iowa) Walnut (Kalifornien) Walnut (Kansas) Walnut (Mississippi) Siehe auch Walnut Grove Walnut Hill Walnut Township Walnut Creek Walnut Street Bridge Walnut Street… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Walnut — puede referirse a varias localidades de Estados Unidos: Walnut (California) Walnut (Illinois) Walnut (Iowa) Walnut (Kansas) Walnut (Misisipi) Véase también Walnut Grove …   Wikipedia Español

  • walnut — [wôl′nut΄, wôl′nət] n. [ME walnot < OE walhhnutu < wealh, foreign (see WELSH) + hnutu, NUT] 1. any of a genus (Juglans) of trees of the walnut family, valued as shade trees, for their nuts, and for their wood, used in making furniture,… …   English World dictionary

  • walnut — (n.) O.E. walhnutu nut of the walnut tree, lit. foreign nut, from wealh foreign (see WELSH (Cf. Welsh)) + hnutu (see NUT (Cf. nut)). Cf. O.N. valhnot, M.L.G. walnut, M.Du. walnote, Du. walnoot …   Etymology dictionary

  • Walnut, CA — U.S. city in California Population (2000): 30004 Housing Units (2000): 8395 Land area (2000): 8.982015 sq. miles (23.263311 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 8.982015 sq. miles (23.263311 sq. km)… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

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