A holy tree for the Greeks and Romans
The Walnut family consists of 20 or so species. This tree species originates from south-eastern Europe and western Asia but is mainly cultivated in North America, France and Italy. In these countries, it is financially important both the timber and the Walnuts themselves.
Walnut trees can become up to 98 feet (30 m) in height. The trunk is thick and straight. Over time it stops being smooth and starts being grooved and cracked. The crown is broad at the top and made up of large, shiny leaves with a pleasant scent. Walnuts are a stone fruit that grow once the tree is around ten years old. The nutshell is green initially but when it matures it cracks open to reveal the grooved slightly oval nut that is so popular in a number of classic dishes and as a snack.
A symbol of fertility
The Walnut was a holy tree in both Greece and Rome in ancient times. It was a symbol of fertility devoted to Artemis, Goddess of chastity and the hunt, and Diana, her Roman equivalent.
The beauty of Walnut, transferred to humans
The oil extracted from Walnut is excellent for cooking. It is also used in cosmetics. Its softening qualities make the skin beautiful and a hair masque containing Walnut oil is said to strengthen dry hair.