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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Juglandaceae (Walnut and Pecan family)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Order: Fagales

Eight genera and about 50 species (North temperate regions, South America, Malesia), of which three genera and nine species are cultivated in southern Africa including Walnut Juglans regia and Pecan Carya illinoinensis.

Genera cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002). Species is listed for genera with only one species cultivated in the region.


Two species cultivated: Pterocarya fraxinifolia (Caucasian wing-nut) and Pterocarya stenoptera (Chinese wing-nut).


Juglans (walnuts)

Twenty-one species (Northern Hemisphere and South America), of which six are cultivated in southern Africa, including the Walnut Juglans regia.

Jugans regia (Walnut)

Carya illinoinensis (Pecan)

Indigenous from south-eastern USA through to eastern Mexico. Pecans were harvested by indigenous North American tribes well before the arrival of European settlers in the 1500's. They were introduced to Spain in the 1600's and are now grown in all temperate regions of the world although the USA remains the main producer. Pecans have a high fat content (about 71%) but most of it is unsaturated (the more healthy type). They are an excellent source of phosphorus, thiamin, copper and zinc, and a good source of iron and potassium.



  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.