Thursday, June 14, 2012

Red Car Canyon: Mystery Walnut, Perhaps Not

Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 12, 2012.  For the past 2 years, we've tried to identify this tree.  It's not Southern California Black Walnut; this tree has much larger leaves and fruit.  (Click on photos to enlarge.) 

The squirrels always go nuts for this fruit.  It's 3 times the size of the native Southern California Black Walnut.

A reader from Northern California suggested it might be California Buckeye.  Since the squirrels always stripped all the fruit before it matured, I had to wait until it flowered.  I missed the flowering last year.

Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 7, 2012.  This year's flowering proved it was not California Buckeye, but a walnut species.  I'm speculating it's Juglans nigra, or Eastern Black Walnut. 

See our post from July 10, 2010 for a cross section of the fruit.

The fruit matches the Juglans nigra fruit seen on the Missouri State University website.