Walnut vs Black Walnut; What are the Differences?

There is no doubt that what most people are familiar with today is the English walnut. Who would have considered walnut vs black walnut?

Walnuts were cultivated thousand years ago and were even mentioned in the code of Hammurabi.

Historically, it is believed that the Greeks used selective breeding to produce the enlarged walnut that we are used to today. Over the years, the Persian Walnut picked up the name ” English walnut,” since it was English merchants who introduced the nuts across the globe.

What is now known as the “English walnut” was known as Alta California in the 18th century? The Franciscan monks began growing English walnuts, later renamed “California” or “Mission walnuts.”

What are Walnuts?

Source: tytyga.com

walnuts are edible seeds gotten from trees called Juglan sorts. It has huge measures of supplements like proteins, fundamental unsaturated fats, carbs, nutrients, and minerals. Walnuts are also known as “mind food” because they contain Omega-3 unsaturated fats, which help to expand the cerebrum.

The following are the mind-blowing advantages of walnuts:

  1. Health benefits: minerals found in walnuts are calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, iron, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium needed to keep up with great well-being. The utilization of walnuts brings down LDL and further develops HDL. It brings down the hazard of coronary failure and hypertension
  2. Decrease aggravation: this is a result of the quality polyphenolic mixtures and phytochemical substances.
  3. Direct rest: this is due to the presence of melatonin.
  4. Useful for skin: walnut seeds are highly rich in antioxidants.

What are Black Walnuts?

Black walnuts are native to North America, specifically California. It is mostly eaten by native Americans and is more popular because of its thinner shell and milder taste. Black walnuts are assumed to have a stronger taste, but they’re despised by some because of their hard shell and their tendency to leave a black stain on the consumer’s hands.

Walnuts grow in wild areas, mainly in the eastern and central parts of the United States. A company in California, Hammons, has its black walnut crops that they produce and sell to buyers in large quantities.

Walnut vs Black Walnut: 6 Notable Differences

Having explained what a walnut and black walnut are in detail, it becomes imperative to know their differences.

Without further discussion, below are the six notable differences between a walnut and a black walnut:

1. Black walnut Has Higher Protein Contents Than Walnuts

Black walnuts have the highest amount of protein when compared to other nuts. They have high levels of vitamin A, fiber, iron, and antioxidants. Walnuts are loaded with protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins.

Both walnut and black walnut contain high levels of polyunsaturated fats and antioxidants, which help lower blood sugar, balance gut bacteria, and reduce cholesterol.

Black walnuts have a higher protein content than walnuts. One cup of black walnuts has 32 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber, which are high in fat (in contrast to one cup of walnuts, which has 16 grams of protein).

Black walnuts are also full of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, folates, iron, potassium, and magnesium.

2. Walnuts are Grown for Food while Black walnuts are Grown for their wood

Although black walnuts are very tasty and could easily be found, they are not the main provider of most walnuts we consume, but rather English walnuts.

English walnuts have a much thinner and more easily breakable shell than black walnuts. thus making it easy for its fruits to be harvested entirely.

Black walnuts are typically grown more for their wood due to their hard-to-harvest fruits from the hulls. Its woods are used in furniture making, oars, gunstocks, coffins, and flooring. The wood has a straight grain with fascinating dark colors.

3. Black walnuts Have Tough shells, and English walnut has a thin soft Shell

The shells of black walnuts are incredibly hard and would probably injure you if you were mistakenly hit with one. The black walnut shells are so hard that the nuts need a hammer and a hard surface to be harvested.

Black walnut shells are commonly used in sandblasting. They can be used to sandblast ships, smokestacks, and even jet engines.

On the other hand, English walnut has softer and thinner shells that come off more easily than black walnut. Walnuts occasionally have hard-to-remove hulls that stick tight against the seed, but not in comparison with black walnuts.

4. Black walnuts are the Only wild nut Trees, Unlike English Walnuts

Black walnut trees grow throughout North America, from Canada to Florida. It grows peculiarly well in Sandy loam soil or clay soil and is largely harvested and used for construction, hardwood flooring, and also desserts, and baking.

Black walnuts grow easily along roads, like a weed, and pop up in barren forest regions as a result of forest fires. Black walnuts also grow easily in full sun, with their hulls and nuts spreading visibly for surrounding animals to hunt for food.

These plants are allelopathic, meaning that they produce a biochemical called junglones that influence other plants.

5. Black walnut hulls stain more than walnut

Black walnuts contain junglones which act as a mordant for dying fiber. This enables the lasting dyeing of materials without the use of other substances that would normally allow the dye to stick.

Other walnuts, such as the English walnut, produce a small number of junglones in comparison with the black walnut. The dye from the black walnut comes from its hulls, which cover the fruit or nut. The dye is extracted by simmering black walnut hulls in the water.

On plant and animal fibers, the neon green, tennis ball-sized black walnut hulls produce a tan to black colored dye. This corresponds to the amount of time the material is soaked in the dye. The dye gotten from the hulls of this plant is so potent that it can be saved and frozen to use for dyeing throughout the year.

6. Walnuts Trees Grow 40-60 Feet Tall, While Black Walnut Grows 75-100 Feet Tall

Walnuts naturally take a longer time to mature and produce a good number of nuts than their counterpart, black walnuts. For both walnuts, it would take around 4-6years to produce nuts, and generally 20 years before the nuts can be harvested.

The black walnut tree is far giant than the English walnut tree and grows to a significant height of 75-100 feet tall with a spread of about 75-100 feet wide.

Of recent, the black walnut of Virginia tree made the National Register of champion tree in 2019 at a whooping circumference of 246 inches, 104 feet tall, and a crown spread of 56 feet.

In most cases, the English walnut tree grows within the range of 40-60 feet tall, except Giant Ogden in Utah(the largest English walnut) which grows up to 80 feet tall with a trunk circumference of 223 inches.

How to Identify a Black Walnut Tree

Having read what a black walnut is all about, it becomes pertinent that you also get full details on how to ascertain the identity of this plant.

There are several ways in which black walnuts could be identified; prominent among these are their taste, huge size, aromatic smell, tough shells, and tendency to stain the consumer’s hand.

Black walnuts are huge deciduous trees with aromatic lanceolate leaves and drooping clusters of greenish-yellow flowers. They are known for their dark gray bark, tough shells, and awesome taste. They are also known for their ornamental values as a result of their oval crown spreading branches and dense foliage.

Black walnut is also known for its beauty, spicy aromatic scent, and abundance of edible nuts. Its tree grows approximately 75–100 feet tall with leaves, stems, and nuts that emit a pungent odor when crushed.


Having read through the article, it is assumed that you can easily be guided whenever you are making a preference between these two walnuts. If you want a tasty walnut with large nuts that can enhance your food, consider English walnuts. On the other hand, black walnut would serve your ornamental purposes and aesthetic values, especially when it comes to furniture making.


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