Juglans regia (Persian walnut)

The walnut tree is the World Tree, the axis mundi, in Bulgarian folklore. Bulgarians plant walnut trees in their gardens and church gardens, and they are bridges between the living and dead. Folklore says the tree planter will die when the walnut tree trunk is the same width as the planter’s neck. To outwit this walnut destiny, some place a red sash around the sapling, which protects the planter. Also, in Bulgaria, walnut leaves can magically separate men and women. Walnut trees do produce a chemical, juglone, that prevents growth of other plants in their vicinity, as Pliny the Elder (77CE) documented. Druids and herbalists work with walnuts as expellers; they expel parasites, and even can help people who are under another person’s influence. In American Hoodoo, walnuts can put jinxes on people and help people fall out of love. Walnuts in many cultures signify wish fulfillment and protection.

“Juglans” derives from Latin, meaning Jupiter’s acorn (jovis and glans). The name walnut, derives from England where the walnut was not native, as wal, means foreign. The Persian walnut is native to Asia and southeast Europe, and holds the distinction of being the most sold nut worldwide and is grown commercially in California. They are drought tolerant, and the wood is excellent for musical instruments like pianos and household items. Walnuts are highly nutritious with protein, alpha linolenic-acid, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, zinc and more.

Elizabeth Oriel 2022