Black Walnut is a rapidly growing deciduous tree that holds both medicinal and ornamental importance. Its trunk can stretch up to a height of 130 ft, holding grayish-black bark. It possesses pinnately compound leaves that are arranged in an alternate fashion on the stem. Being a monoecious plant, the black walnut produces staminate (male flowers) and pistillate (female flowers) on the same tree.
The male flowers are dangling catkins while the female ones appear in the form of clusters of two or five. The fine wood obtained from black walnut trees is heavy and highly durable which makes it appropriate for making cabinets, furniture, gunstocks, veneer, airplane propellers, and ships. Due to the sweet taste of black walnut seeds, they were historically used in confectionery.
Black walnut leaves and bark are used in various medicinal preparations to treat parasitic worm infections, diphtheria, syphilis, leukemia, skin infections, heart diseases, diabetes, and even cancer.
Black walnut contains a host of medicinally active compounds, including linoleic acid, linolenic acid, palmitic acid, oleic acid, stearic acid, magnesium, potassium, and much more. It naturally contains juglone, an active phytoconstituent, that has proven to be toxic for certain plants in the vicinity of black walnut trees. It deprives the other plant of respiration due to which they eventually die and the black walnut tree gains all the nutrients for which it was competing before.