Introduced into North America more than 100 years ago, the heartnut is now recogized as one of the best ornamentals of the nut tree species. With it’s luxurious, almost tropical foliage, the heartnut provides a dense shade yet grass grows well underneath.
The heartnut thrives in both clay and sandy soils. J Russell Smith, nut tree expert, describes it as “a veritable goat in its feeding habits” making it a very rapid grower, “and in rich soils a single leaf is sometimes a yard long.”
In form, the nut is distinctly heart shaped with a short, flat base and a sharply pointed tip. Produced in clusters, sometimes of ten or more, their flavour is mild, tasting similar to Butternut. Generally the tree tends to bear annually, though perhaps not as heavily as the black or Persian walnut. The nuts will ripen between August and October. Trees can grow up to sixty feet tall.
The heartnut has is USDA Hardiness Zone to zone 4b