Juglans nigra - Black walnut

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 Full SunButterfly FriendlyBird FriendlyFall Color
Black Walnut
Juglans nigra

Black walnuts are very tall, statuesque, shade trees best planted in informal settings. Their wood is prized for furniture building and over-harvesting has caused a serious decline in native populations. They are host plants for over 100 species of butterflies and moths! Plant this tree in full sun where it will have room to grow and falling nuts will not be a problem. They prefer full sun and moist, well-drained soil. 



  • Host plant for over 100 butterfly and moth species!
  • The insects attract a wide array of birds
  • Over-harvesting has caused a decline in native populations
  • The preferred host plant of the luna moth
  • Important food source for squirrels and chipmunks

Native Range

Native to rich, moist woods and bottomlands.

Map Credit: The Biota of North America 
Map Key: Green (native), Teal (native, adventive), Blue (present), Yellow (present & rare), Red (extinct)


Some walnuts will start producing nuts when they are 5 or 6 years old. However, you may need to wait 15 years or more for a heavy crop. 



Black walnuts produce chemicals called juglones which are very toxic to certain other plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons, blueberries, peonies, and solanaceous crops like tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. Most of the toxicity is limited to within the drip line of the tree.


Mature Size: 50-75ft. Tall x 50-75ft. Wide

Hardiness Zone: 4-9

Sun Exposure: Full Sun

Coming Soon!

    American Beauties Offer Solution Based Plant Collections to Help you Choose

    Quick Tips for Choosing Plants:

    • Planting a variety of native trees, shrubs, perennials and vines increases biodiversity and gives wildlife a source for food, cover and nesting
    • Choose a mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees so birds and other wildlife will always be able to find shelter
    • Plant trees and large shrubs where they will block winter winds from the house and shade it in summer, that will save energy and lower your carbon footprint
    • Try your best to buy plants that were grown locally, your independent garden center will be your best bet
    • Think about ultimate height and width of the plant you choose, make sure it will fit the space you have for it when it's reached maturity
    • Plant nectar plants in groups, to attract butterflies and other beneficial insects more easily
    • Ask for help if you need it. Most garden centers either have a landscape designer on staff or they can give you a reference of a designer that is adept at native plant wildlife gardening. There will be upfront costs but they are small when compared to having to redo a landscape that wasn't what you really wanted

    Our Plant Tags Hold the Secrets to Success

    Choosing the right plants for your garden can seem like a daunting task but we’re here to help. Our horticulturists have spent a considerable amount of time researching and writing our beautiful, American Beauties plant tags to help you be successful. First of all, when you see an American Beauties branded pot at your garden center you can be confident that the plant is native to your area and a responsible choice. 

    When you look at our tag you’ll find information about the plants natural habitat. That will give you a clue to how it will work in your backyard. For instance if the plant is naturally founded and moist, shade and you have full sun, it’s not the plant for you. The “Features” section gives you an overview or plant description so you’ll know what to expect. While the “Benefits” section talks about the plants strong suits and how the plant will benefit wildlife. 

    A Special Note About Exposure

    Full sun: Prefers six or more hours of direct sunshine a day
    Partial shade: Thrives in three to six hours of daily sunshine
    Shade: Generally does well with less than three hours of sun per day. Having said that even shade loving plants will struggle in extremely deep shade.


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