The University Gardens
Historical plants of Bergen

Juglans regia (the walnut)

Coveted import goods in a nutshell.

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The walnut is probably of Asian origin, but its exact origin is unknown. The tree has been grown in large parts of Europe for centuries and has been planted in Norway at least since the 18th century. In favorable places, the nuts mature in most years.

Many nutshells are found in medieval deposits in Bergen and show that walnuts were a sought-after import commodity. They may also have been harvested locally. According to the “Lensregnskapet” documentation for Bergen 1577-1578, Commander Eske Bille in 1530 sent pickled walnuts and fruit to Norway's last Catholic Archbishop Olav Engelbrektsson in Trondheim.

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