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Black walnut (Juglans nigra), also known as American walnut, is a large hardwood species in the Juglandacea family and native to eastern North America before spreading westward toward California. With heights reaching up to 100 feet and deep roots as long as 10 feet, it adds to the stability and support for the black walnut tree but makes it difficult to soak up water.
This is the reason why black walnuts can be found growing in regions with occasional rainfall or near creek beds. The leaves are spear-shaped, light-green and several inches in length. The bark is black, deeply furrowed, thick and reveals a dark-covered subsurface when scraped.
The tree is native to the Himalayas, Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia and was cultivated in Europe as early as 100 B.C. The black walnut tree also has been historically used to get rid of a fever and treat kidney ailments, gastrointestinal concerns, ulcers, toothache, snake bites and syphilis.
Recent studies have shown that the husks of the black walnut contain chemicals that inhibit bacterial and fungal growth and may be valuable in controlling dermal, mucosal and oral infections in humans.
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