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European Bladdernut Nuts

1000 Seeds, EUBL_S-1000 $220.00 Out of stock


The bladdernuts are a long forgotten food used at one time thousands of years ago for their kernels which are considered more of a nut than a seed or fruit. The hard round seeds are contained within a bladder like seed case that hangs up in the tree for most of winter. The hard seeds were used as rosaries many centuries ago. Today the bladdernut is rarely planted to any extent, but much research has been done on its health properties found within its nutrient rich and bioactive compounds found within the  seeds.  The seeds are high in fat with over 45 percent linolenic acid and quite high in vitamin E.  The green kernels when formed are very high in phytonutrients as well. Kind of like an almond meets a pistachio in composition. They can be eaten and cracked but somehow that process has been lost and likely it was treated like wheat and ground in a paste as cracking them out one by one would take a life time. 

Although the plant itself is not cultivated to any extent, Oikos Tree Crops began growing several species of it and found one strain of the European selection very high in yields with branches hanging with nuts. Growing in pure shade of the pecan trees, they are very productive.  As a result I started propagating it just in the case of someone wanting it for its nutritional benefits on a larger scale. The other species I tried were lower yielding at my farm including the native species. That was 30 years ago. I still think this is probably the highest yielding plants I have seen, but there could be others as the native species is rarely found in my location. I have also found a couple of seedlings  which fruited at younger ages when only 2 ft. tall or so. This almost usually means higher yields so I do keep adding to my plantings one by one. 

European bladdernut is shade tolerant and is heavy producing in a wide variety of locations. The plants reach up to 9-15 ft. tall and tend to form multiple trunks and a few suckers. The beautiful tubular type flowers come out in late May followed by the green many valve fruit. The pods contain several seeds per casing and pop out when you squeeze them.

This is an easy plant to grow and worth growing as an ornamental small tree even if you do not find your self in the bladdernut business or making rosaries. It has a slightly stoloniferous tendency and its ability to thrive in shade under a wide range of conditions makes it a possibility for its life giving crops from ancient times. 

Plant Specs
Genus & Species Staphylea pinnata
Seed Source Michigan
Height (ft) 10-15 ft. with equal width. Tends to have an open upright canopy.
Pollination Requirements Self fertile as far as I know.
Soil Adaptable to a wide range of conditions. Would likely spread by seed via chipmunks.
Climate Zones 3-8
Ease of Cultivation Drought tolerant and easy to grow in a wide variety of soils and climates. More work could be done culinary wise but as a crop plant, bladdernut has possibilities in terms of its yield and cultivation. The plant itself could easily fit into mixed plantings because of its shade tolerance.