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Botanical Name: Juglans major
Species: J. major
Synonyms : J. microcarpa major. J. rupestris major. J. torreyi.
Common Names: Arizona walnut, Arizona black walnut
Habitat : Juglans major is native to Southern N. America – New Mexico to Arizona. It grows on dry rocky ravines and stream beds, 700 – 2300 metres.
Juglans major is a deciduous Tree growing to 15 m (49ft 3in) at a fast rate.
In moister areas, the tree features a single, stout trunk; there are usually several slender trunks in drier situations. The 8–14 in long pinnately compound leaves bear 9–15 lanceolate leaflets, 3/8–11/4 in wide by 2–4 in long. The small nut has a thick shell with deep grooves enclosing an oily, edible seed.
It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from Oct to December. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.The plant is self-fertile.
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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.
Requires a deep well-drained loam and a sunny position sheltered from strong winds. Prefers a slightly alkaline soil. Plants are fast-growing when young. This species is closely related to and sometimes considered to be no more than a sub-species of J. microcarpa. It hybridizes with that species where their ranges overlap. If it is a distinct species then perhaps its correct name should be J. torreyi. Trees produce good crops of seeds every 2 – 3 years in the wild. Natural regeneration is very low because most seeds are consumed by wildlife. Plants are fairly long-lived (to about 400 years) and produce a deep taproot, they are intolerant of root disturbance. Seedlings should be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible and given some protection for their first winter or two since they are somewhat tender when young. Flower initiation depends upon suitable conditions in the previous summer. The flowers and young growths can be destroyed by even short periods down to -2°c, but fortunately plants are usually late coming into leaf. Any pruning should only be carried out in late summer to early autumn or when the plant is fully dormant otherwise wounds will bleed profusely and this will severely weaken the tree. Trees have a dense canopy which tends to reduce plant growth below them. We have no specific information for this species, but the roots of several members of this genus produce substances that are toxic to many plant species, especially apples (Malus species), members of the Ericaceae, Potentilla spp and the white pines (certain Pinus spp.). The leaves of many species also secrete substances that have an inhibitory affect on plants growing underneath them. All in all this is not a very good companion plant.
The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in individual deep pots in a cold frame. You need to protect it from mice, birds, squirrels etc. The seed usually germinates in late winter or the spring. Plant out the seedlings into their permanent positions in early summer and give some protection from the cold for their first winter or two. The seed can also be stored in cool moist conditions (such s the salad compartment of a fridge) over the winter and sown in early spring but it may then require a period of cold stratification before it will germinate. Germination rates are usually less than 50%
Edible Uses: Oil.
Seed – raw or cooked. The seed is rather small, but it is sometimes eaten. Of little value. The seed is large and sweet with a thick shell. There are about 45 seeds to the pound. The seeds are 25 – 40mm in diameter. An edible oil is obtained from the seed, it tends to go rancid quickly.
Medicinal Uses: A tea of the dried leaves is used for irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, and chronic colon disorders; it also is used to treat dysentery. For arthritis, the leaves and bark are boiled into a strong tea, taken internally, and applied to arthritic legs and back.
This species is sometimes used as a rootstock. A golden brown dye can be obtained from the seed husks. A light brown dye is obtained from the young twigs. Plants produce chemicals which can inhibit the growth of other plants. These chemicals are dissolved out of the leaves when it rains and are washed down to the ground below, reducing the growth of plants under the tree. The roots of many members of this genus produce substances that are toxic to many plant species, especially apples (Malus species), members of the Ericaceae, Potentilla spp and the white pines (certain Pinus spp.). Wood – this very attractive wood rivals that of J. nigra, the black walnut, in quality. However, the limited range and smaller size of the tree have restricted its use.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.