Characteristics of California Walnut Tree (Juglans californica) in the Wild

Juglans californica
California walnut or California black walnut (Juglans californica) is a type of shrub or small tree that grows to about 6-12 meters in height from the Juglandaceae family and is endemic to California.

California walnut is commonly found in the Southern California Coast Ranges, Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges, and Central Valley. It grows as part of mixed forests, and also on slopes and in valleys wherever conditions are favorable.

Juglans californica is threatened by development and overgrazing. Some of the original stands remain in the city of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains and Hollywood Hills.

The IUCN has categorized Juglans californica as a Vulnerable (VU) species.

 
California walnut trees grow in riparian forests, either in single-species stands or mixed with Californian oak (Quercus sp.) and Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii).

 

Characteristics of California Walnut Leaf

Juglans californica Leaf
Source: inaturalist.org/bearbearmama

The leaves are large, pinnate, lanceolate, each leaf blade measuring about 10-19 cm with toothed margins.

 

Characteristics of California Walnut

Juglans californica Fruit
Source: inaturalist.org/setaearmor

The fruit is a nut, hard, small, with a grooved surface, and a thick shell.

 

Characteristics of California Walnut Tree

Juglans californica Tree
Source: inaturalist.org/silversea_starsong

California walnut can grow as a shrub or small tree 6-12 meters tall. The main trunk often grows close to the ground, so it looks like two trees growing together then separated. The bark is thick, rough, and deeply grooved.

Juglans californica is cultivated throughout California to support the walnut industry and as an ornamental tree.

 

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