Butternut (Juglans cinerea)

Butternut is a large deciduous tree related to the Black Walnut. It’s found in moist bottomlands and lowland forests of eastern and mid-western North America and prefers to grow in moist, organically rich, well-drained soils in full sun. Butternut looks similar to Black Walnut but it’s generally smaller, the bark is less fissured, has fewer leaflets per leaf and the nuts are more oval.  It also produces juglone like the Black Walnut. It is intolerant of shade but tolerates rabbits and drought. Yellowish green monoecious flowers appear in late spring that are followed by sweet, edible nuts.  The kernels of the nuts are used to make maple-butternut candy in New England. The wood is light colored with a golden luster when polished, and it is used for furniture, cabinetry, instrument cases, interior woodwork and church decorations and alters.


Map courtesy of the USDA-NRCS Plant Database.

Photos courtesy of the Missouri Botanical Garden

Additional information

Scientific Name

Juglans cinerea







Native to

Eastern U.S.



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