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Bombacaceae, Pachira aquatica, Guinea Chestnut

October 11, 2009
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5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 4, 2009 10:08:25 am

    We have one of these trees here in South Florida and it has recently begun fruiting. We found the nuts to be very tasty raw or roasted. The hard pod splits when the nuts are ready, and they can be peeled with your fingernails, making them one of the easier nuts to access. If you leave them on the ground, they will sprout. We gave away a couple of dozen sprouted seeds to gardening friends this year.

    Love your site – thanks for sharing!

    • al DeMartino permalink
      November 7, 2009 10:08:54 pm

      Can the seeds be potted and if so what type of soil would you recommend

      • November 7, 2009 10:08:12 pm

        They’ll germinate easily in a wide variety of soils. The fresher the seed the better. Can also grow from cuttings, but won’t get a taproot. I get almost 100% germination planting seeds just below soil. Likes good drainage and organic matter.

  2. November 4, 2009 10:08:57 pm

    Very interesting. Do you have Pachira glabra in S. Florida?

    • Dan S. permalink
      December 13, 2010 10:08:43 pm

      P glabra is common in the US as a container plant. It is also found in a number of Florida gardens…
      It is also found in SE Asia where it is popular as a pseudo-bonzai (multiple stems are braided together- in fact in the US it is most often encountered as such a plant at some Asian store).

      Often in the US the two are mixed up and P. glabra usually called P. aquatica.
      P. aquatica is relatively uncommon in the US, I’ve never eaten its seeds (before seeing the comments on this page all the other people I knew who tried it told me it was horribly bitter even after… perhaps the correct preperation is needed and/or the seeds vary in bitterness depending on the plant, growing conditions).
      P. glabra has much smaller pods (green and smooth) with smaller seeds and they don’t need any prep to be eaten. Supposedly raw they are peanut like and roasted they are more chestnut like.

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