Butternut trees

I had an enlightening encounter this morning while staking out some foraging options. A Grandfather was also foraging with his three young grandkids, teaching them that food is all around us. The little boy shared with me two butternuts that he had picked. I haven’t considered forging for butternuts before this, I think they are a lesser known nut today. So I’m sitting here with my two butternuts figuring out I can do with them and discovered there are also medicinal uses for the plant. The inner bark can be used as a laxative and liver congestion. The inner bark and roots can be used in a compress to stop bleeding from wounds and the nuts oils have been used for tapeworms and fungal infection. Has anyone used butternuts either medicinally or just to eat?


  • Alison
    Alison Posts: 179 ✭✭✭

    I hadn't heard of them before. Apparently they are also called White Walnut.

    Our region generally only has the black walnut. I do know that the black walnut hull is used in various anti parasitic products.

    It will be great to hear what you decide to do.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,218 admin

    @Miya In what general region do you live? I am on the Canadian prairies, where butternut are not normally grown, but had a friend from BC sent me a few with instructions. I experimented by freezing & cooling planted seeds in pots before warming them & watering, and just plain old planting some outside in a hopefully appropriate setting. Now never having actually seen a walnut tree of any type before and knowing that it could take a while to sprout, if ever, I waited. I did not know if our cold winters might kill the outdoor one either, and we just had a very cold winter.

    Now, earlier this summer, we checked & found a small & unfamiliar tree growing there and checked it by an ID site I found. I need to see how it is doing and see if it might be better identifiable, but I think we actually have a butternut tree! I am unaware of any others in my province.

    I am excited to hear that besides it being edible, that it has medicinal qualities as well. Thank you for your information!

  • Marjory Wildcraft
    Marjory Wildcraft Posts: 1,541 admin

    DO they taste like 'butter nuts"?

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,218 admin

    I read that the mature nut has a texture similar to butter.

  • dimck421
    dimck421 Posts: 203 ✭✭✭

    I may have missed you stating, what is your general region? It seems my area must have enjoyed the super hot summer, as many local folks state their black walnuts, hickory nuts, and hazel nuts provided an unexpectedly high yield this season. I never saw butter nuts, but I hope you found a good plenty, especially, if you ascertain a super great use for them!