Juglans regia, the English or common walnut is a deciduous, broadleaf tree with shiny, feather-like leaves and fleshy, green fruits which contain the delicious nuts.
In spring, the trees produce tiny immature fruits which are wind pollinated by fat male catkins and, although trees are self-fertile, you can greatly improve yield by introducing another type of walnut.
The walnuts themselves develop inside a fibrous, leathery casing which splits when the nuts ripen in early autumn. This is when the nuts are at their finest, with a softer texture and distinctive, creamy taste.
If you want to store them for Christmas, you are best off drying or freezing them after removing all traces of the outer husk.
These fast-growing trees can reach 30m (100ft) high and 15m (50ft) in ideal conditions, and although tend to be smaller in the UK, they're still a plant that likes lots of room to grow.
Supplied as an established plant in a 22cm pot, approx. 1.5m tall, ready for planting out.
Did you know…
That walnuts originated in ancient Persia, where they were reserved for royalty.The best wood is at the base of the tree, so walnuts are often dug up for timber, rather than felled.Walnuts produce a growth inhibitor – juglone – that has a detrimental effect on some species of plants growing nearby and it is believed that this stops other plants growing around them and competing for nutrients – a very clever tree!