The English Walnut has a cousin: the Black Walnut, a native of the central and eastern woodland of the US. These two species share a lot of similarities, BUT there is one big difference: Black Walnuts are the harder nuts to crack - by a long way! It takes a hammer and a considerable amount of elbow grease to crack them. But, it’s worth the effort. Black Walnuts are more flavorful than the English variety, which is why patisserie chefs and ice cream makers prefer them.
Walnut is also used as a dye plant. The Leaves, roots and husks of unripe nuts yield a colour spectrum ranging from rust brown to black.
Native Americans used the inner bark as an emetic and a laxative. They also chewed the bark to alleviate toothache. The husks were chewed treat colic. Externally, the fresh juice is applied to ringworm and a poultice is applied to inflammatory skin conditions. The juice was used to treat ringworm. The leaves are astringent and insecticidal and have been used to combat bedbugs and mites.
Black Walnuts are an emblem of resilience and strength. The husks can be used for making magical ink or dye. Be sure to wear gloves when handling them!
Carya, Jupiter's Nuts, Carya persica, Carya basilike.