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The species of August 2018

Name: Walnut
Scientific name: Juglans regia
Family: Jaguar

Description
It is a deciduous tree up to 30m high [1,2]. The stem is characterized by a silver-like colour, while the aromatic leaves (25-40 cm length) have mainly dark green colour [2].

Spreading
Although it is considered to be a cultivated plant, it can also be observed as being naturally occurring near streams and wet soils [1,2]. Thus, although historically considered an imported plant, today it is located as an acclimated epicenter from Stavros tis Psokas to Agios Amvrosios Kyrenia at an altitude of 20 to 140m. 

Biology
The blooming occurs in spring with white male flowers forming characteristic hanging clusters. The harvesting occurs during the summer with the full maturing of the fruit to be completed in the early autumn [1,2,3]. 

Nomenclature
The nomenclature of a plant is a source of information about both its properties and its origins. Thus, the Latin adjective “regia” attributed to walnut refers to the Persian kings from whom the plant was taken to be imported by Alexander the Great to the European region in the 4th century b.C. Additionally, it is believed that the Greek name Karydia refers to the Latin “caryon” which reflects the headache caused by the intense odour released by the plant, which is reported by several ancient writers such as Difilos, Plutarchus, etc. [2].

Properties – Uses
Since ancient times, the fruits of walnut have been widely used in cooking since, as it is stated, in the writings of Eden from the 1st century b.C. The walnuts are found as one of the basic ingredients for too many recipes, while similar references are made to Byzantine writings. Additionally, the walnut contains large amounts of oil which is still used in soap making, while the leaves of the plant extract essential oil used in perfumery. A particular characteristic of the plant is the wood of the trunk. Because of its durability and hardness, it has great commercial value and it is used especially in furniture, sculpture and woodworking [1,2]. Less well-known but equally remarkable is the use of nuts and leaves of Karydia in dye. Specifically, the leaves and walnuts, the green wrist of the plant, were allowed to boil for 24-48 hours resulting in the production of a dark brown liquid which was widely used in Cyprus for dyeing fabrics and woods [3,4]. Finally, modern studies indicate that when walnuts are included in a person’s diet, they can lower blood cholesterol absorption and concentration levels, contribute to the defense of the body and increase the concentration of important amino acids in the body and relieve fatigue and stress [5]. 

SOURCES:
[1] Τσιντίδης, Τ., Χατζηκυριάκου, Γ., Χριστοδούλου, Χ. (2002). Δέντρα και Θάμνοι στην Κύπρο. Λευκωσία: Ίδρυμα Α.Γ. Λεβέντη – Φιλοδασικός Σύνδεσμος Κύπρου.

[2] Χατζηκυριάκου, Γ.,2007: Αρωματικά και Αρτυματικά Φυτά στην Κύπρο. Από την αρχαιότητα μέχρι και σήμερα. Λευκωσία 2007
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juglans_regia
[4] Εκπαιδευτικό πακέτο: «Το Σπίτι του Μέλλοντος Στηρίζεται στις Χρήσεις του Παρελθόντος: Τα Φυτά στην Παράδοση της Κύπρου». Εκδόσεις ΚΥ.Κ.Π.Ε.Ε, 2012
[5]
http://www.chineseherbshealing.com/juglans-regia-walnut/

SOURCE OF IMAGE:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juglans_regia#/media/File:Juglans_regia_2009_G2.jpg

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