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Juglans major (Arizona walnut)
Page, Lee

Juglans major

Juglans major (Torr.) A. Heller

Arizona Walnut, Arizona Black Walnut, River Walnut, Mountain Walnut, Nogal Silvestre

Juglandaceae (Walnut Family)

Synonym(s): Juglans elaeopyren, Juglans microcarpa var. major, Juglans rupestris var. major

USDA Symbol: juma

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Arizona walnut is a round-crowned deciduous tree to 48 ft. in height. With furrowed bark on the trunk, gray twigs, and reddish brown new growth covered with hairs visible under a 10x hand lens. Leaves up to foot long with 4 to 8 pairs of leaflets along a central axis and a single leaflet at the tip the margins finely toothed and the midrib of the lateral leaflet off-center, the wider part of the blade toward the leaf tip. Flowers inconspicuous, in elongate green clusters. Fruit spherical, 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter, intermediate in size between Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) and Little Walnut (Juglans microcarpa).

The small walnuts, known in Spanish as nogales, are gathered locally. The wood, like that of Black Walnut, is used for furniture and gunstocks, but the supply is limited. The valuable enlarged burls and bases of the trunks make beautifully patterned tabletops and veneer.


From the Image Gallery

4 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Complexity: Pinnate
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Monoecious
Fruit Type: Nut
Size Notes: 36-48 feet tall.
Leaf: Yellow-Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Apr , May


USA: AZ , NM , OK , TX , UT
Native Distribution: C. TX to c. AZ & mts. of Mex. south to Chiapas
Native Habitat: Dry stream banks; canyons; 3500 to 7000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Arizona walnut is a round-crowned deciduous tree. It often has a forked trunk and rounded crown of widely spreading branches, distinct walnut odor. Bark is dark and deeply furrowed and ridged. Branched are wide-spreading. Leaves are pinnate. The thick-shelled, edible nut is about 1 in. in diameter.


Use Wildlife: The nuts provide food for wildlife.
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds


Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Plant nuts in fall or spring. If nuts are sown in spring, they must be stratified.
Seed Collection: Collect nuts in fall or winter when husks begin to turn black and split open. Remove husks. It is not necessary to remove shell. Sow immediately or keep in moist sand over winter. Nuts lose viability if allowed to dry out.
Seed Treatment: Stratify for 60-120 days at 34-41 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Juglans major in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Juglans major in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Juglans major


Record Modified: 2023-04-06
Research By: TWC Staff

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