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Common Name
Botanical Name
Juglans spp.
Walnut is generally one of the edible seeds of the trees that belong to the genus Juglans. Persian and
English walnuts are most famous trees in this regard. The fruit nuts of the black walnuts are available at
commercial scale but in small quantities. Many walnut species are also used in food industry for the
preparation of butternut foods. Seeds of walnuts contain a high concentration of nutrients, proteins and
fatty acids, especially essential fatty acids are more prominent in this regard. Likewise other nuts, walnut
needs proper processing techniques and proper storage and handling because there is the increase in
insects and pests attack at poor storage condition. Fungus also attacks on walnut seeds if not managed and
stored in a proper way which produces aflatoxin known to be potent carcinogen. Therefore the seeds
attacked by fungal molds should not be consumed.
The family Juglandaceae accommodates approximately
60 species and 07 genera.
These species are deciduous and monoecious tress with
pinnate compound leaves which are arranged alternatively on the
The plant consists of large shrubs or they may be trees
having branching with chambered piths, large leaves which are
aromatic and compound. In general, on one year old tree a
solitary and staminate catkin.
The fruit of this plant when is husked is a false drupe
which contains a large and woody-shelled nut. All the species
produce nuts that are edible which, in their size and extractability are much more different from
each other.

Most species of walnut are monoecious with the flowers in which male and female parts mature
at different times.
Staminate catkins which are approximately 5-10 cm are developed from axillary buds on the
wood of previous year.
Staminate catkins appear as cone-like buds which are small and scaly.
The female flower appears on the same/current season crop and occurs in 2-8 flowered spikes.
The inflorescence in Protogynous; the female parts of the flower mature firstly.
The flowering of walnut inflorescence occurs just after the emergence of leaves.
Since the flowering of walnut is of dichogamous in nature, therefore self-pollination is not
possible in walnut and ultimately cross-pollination is promoted.
Its fruit is a drupe, in which nut is furrowed and enclosed in a woody, non-dehiscent husk which
vary in color from yellow to green and this husk is developed from an involucres of flowers.
Fruit Shape:
Shapes of the walnut fruit vary from subglobose to globose, may be ellipsoid having diameter of
3.5-8cm, fruit may be warty having scales and capitate glandular hairs.
The fruit in walnut inflorescence occurs may be in single or in the form of clusters of two-three
fruits. Walnut fruits are edible, sweet in taste, oily in nature, and have high concentrations of

Leaves are arranged alternatively, are pinnate in nature, compound leaves which are 30-60 cm in
length having 9-23 leaflets, glabrous to lustrous dark green in color, on the lower surface leaves
are glandular having petioles of 6.1 to 14 cm in length which are covered with glandular hairs.


Black walnut stems are stout, densely grey-downy, smooth and reddish buff; have a chambered
Brown pith and a distinctly notched leaf scar.
The sapwood of black walnut is nearly white and the heartwood varies from light to dark brown.
The wood is heavy, hard, strong, stiff, normally Straight grained, and has good resistance to
The chromosome number of black walnut is 2n = 32.
Black walnut trees produce seed at about 12 years of age, with good seed crops occurring every 2
to 3 years (Brinkman 1974). Seeds of black walnut, like most Juglans spp., have a dormant
embryo, but dormancy can be broken by fall sowing or by moist pre-chilling of seeds at 1 to 5 C
for 3 to 4 months.

Genetics and cytogenetic studies
Walnut consists of 32 chromosomes.
Its different species have different chromosomes with minimum chromosome number being 12.
There is not much work done on the genetic and cytogenetic analysis of walnut.
However haploids in Persian walnuts have been developed through parthenogenesis induced by
gamma-irradiated pollens.
A little work was done for analyzing the genetic diversity in walnut genotypes using RAPD and
RFLP molecular markers.
This analysis showed that the different genotypes collected from different sources are much more
different from each other.
Origin and Geographical Distribution:
The origin of walnut is considered to be Europe, Asia and America.
The changes in the climate brought geographical changes in the distribution of walnut and further
changes and evolutionary processes brought 21 species of walnuts which are being cultivated
today throughout the world. Although all the species of walnut produce nut fruit but Persian and
English walnuts are only used for the general cultivation for the nuts throughout the world. Other
species of walnut may be grown for timber, rootstock for Persian walnut etc.
Persian walnuts are found to be native to mountainous regions of Asia extending from western
China to RACs (Republics of Asian Countries) and from Nepal to Eastern Turkey. The word
walnut is derived from wealh nut, wealh meaning foreign in Anglo-Saxon or Old German.
Trees of the Persian walnut were in England in 1562 and the nuts were brought to America by
earliest settlers. The American native people introduced the term English walnut to distinguish
it from eastern black walnut.
Walnut production in selected countries 2003
Country Production (t) Area harvested(ha) Yield (kg/ha) Export
China 360,000 180,000 2000 6
USA 285,760 82,000 3484 31
Iran 160,000 60,000 2666
Turkey 136,000 59,000 2305 0
Ukraine 58,000 28,000 2071
France 33,000 15,000 2200 51
India 31,000 30,500 1016 48
23,600 13,200 1787
Exports from total supply, which may include imports.
Uses and Nutritional Composition:
Following are the uses of walnuts
Dried walnuts are used as snack.
Used as desert nut.
It is used in baked goods.
In Roman, they were thrown by the groom at wedding to signify maturity.
In the middle Ages they were used to award off lightening, fevers, witchcraft and epileptic fit.
Its kernel could be used for the soothing of brain.
Its husk was used for the ailments of scalp.
Used in green walnut pickles.
Oil is the most prominent nutrient of the walnut.
Polyunsaturated oils, linoleic and linolinec have many health benefits which includes cholesterol
lowering activity etc.
Health Benefits of Walnut:
Walnut contains proteins, flavanoids, phenolic acids and tannins, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty
Walnut oil has:
Cognitive functions
Cardiovascular benefits
Anti-cancer benefits
Cancer benefits
Protecting bone health
Walnut oil composition per 100 g of kernel
Lipids amount
(g) (%)
Fatty acids total 62.23 100
Saturated total 6.13 10
Palmitic acid 4.40 7
Stearic acid 1.66 3
Ecosonoic acid 0.06 <1
Monounsaturated total 8.93 14
Gadoleic 0.13 <1
Oleic 8.80 14
Polyunsaturated total 47.17 76
Linoleic 38.09 61
Linolenic 9.08 15
Breeding Objectives
Higher yield
Early maturity
Early yield
Short season length
High quality kernel
Resistance to diseases and insect pests
Walnut Improving Program has four main tasks
Germplasm introduction
Creation of new genotypes
Selection and release of new varieties
Breeding Methods
Mass Selection
Recurrent Selection
Introduction may involve new varieties of a crop already grown in the area wild relatives of the
crop species or totally new crop species for that area.
Plant introduction may within the country between the countries or confirmed between the states
or within the state.
The plant may be introduced from the country of another continent.
Introduction may be classified into two categories:
a) Primary
b) Secondary
This method of selection depends mainly on selection of plants according to their phenotype and
The seed from selected plants are bulked for the next generation. This method is used to improve
the overall population by positive or negative mass selection.
Mass selection is only applied to a limited degree in self-fertilizing plants and is an effective
method for the improvement of land races.
This method of selection will only be effective for highly heritable traits. One shortage of mass
selection are the large influence that the environment has on the development, phenotype and
performance of single plants.
This can also be an advantage in that varieties can be selected for local performance.
A variety developed by this method will be more uniform than those developed by mass selection
because all of the plants in such a variety will have the same genotype.
The seed from selected plants are not added together but are kept apart and used to perform
offspring tests. This is done to study the breeding behaviour of the selected plant.
It requires better knowledge about the root growth dynamics and root growth interactions with
above ground growth under the current and future climate changes for the optimization of walnut
Canopy yellowing in walnut and increased pathogenesis of soil borne pathogens with soil
moisture may be due to problems in the root growth and functioning.
More than ten different diseases attack on walnut which cause a considerable losses in the yield
of walnut.
walnut blight
Walnut anthracnose
Black line disease
Crown gall
Walnut bunch disease
Butternut canker

Insect Pests and Nematodes
Codling moth
Navel orange worm
Walnut husk-fly
Mites, aphids and scales

Hope and Scope of Walnut in Pakistan

Walnut awareness about its production is gradually increasing by the improvement in value chain of
walnut by Livelihood Programme. Walnut holds an important place in international market due to its
demands nationally and internationally. It is a 2
major source of income in Chitral. Due to small
landholdings, walnut is not found in the form of regular orchard in this valley.
Following diagrams will show how the Livelihood Programme has brought improvements in walnut
value chain.

The following supply chain map of walnut shows the initial situation of walnut business before LP

Comparison of added value in walnut value chain
The following situation shows a clear increase in the share of added value of collectors from 25% to 50%
as a result of LP interventions.

J.Jules, Paull E.Robert, The Encyclopedia of Fruits & Nuts