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PlantFiles: Cashew, Cajú
Anacardium occidentale

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Family: Anacardiaceae (an-a-kard-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Anacardium (an-uh-KAR-dee-um) (Info)
Species: occidentale (ock-sih-den-TAY-lee) (Info)

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

12 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Category:
Edible Fruits and Nuts
Shrubs

Height:
30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

Spacing:
over 40 ft. (12 m)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Danger:
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Pale Pink
Pale Green

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring

Foliage:
Evergreen
Aromatic

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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By Monocromatico
Thumbnail #1 of Anacardium occidentale by Monocromatico

By Mitjo
Thumbnail #2 of Anacardium occidentale by Mitjo

By Thaumaturgist
Thumbnail #3 of Anacardium occidentale by Thaumaturgist

By Thaumaturgist
Thumbnail #4 of Anacardium occidentale by Thaumaturgist

By Monocromatico
Thumbnail #5 of Anacardium occidentale by Monocromatico

By uniqueplants
Thumbnail #6 of Anacardium occidentale by uniqueplants

By giancarlo
Thumbnail #7 of Anacardium occidentale by giancarlo

There are a total of 16 photos.
Click here to view them all!

Profile:

3 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Neutral tropicbreeze On Mar 2, 2009, tropicbreeze from noonamah
Australia wrote:

I've a number of cashew trees growing, lots of seedlings as well as they can be a bit invasive. There's a variety with a red cashew apple (peduncle) and another with a yellow cashew apple. They're growing next to my swamp which is non-perennial. They fruit well but the flying foxes clean most of them out as they're one of the earlier fruits of the season while there's not much else around.

During the wet season the watertable is about 20 - 30 cms below ground level where the main trees are. A lot of seedlings have grown in the swamp and spend a few months standing in water. The two tallest of these in the water are about 3 - 4 metres high. Like a lot of tropicals, they seem to be able to withstand long periods of inundation.

One tree I've pruned heavily so it can take a bird net. This gives me a better chance of getting some cashew apples before the flying foxes take the lot. The nuts are too much trouble to process. Sometimes when I do it's in a fire to burn the corrosive fluid out. It burns with a blue flame. When the flame turns yellow it means the shell of the nut is burning so it needs to come out.

Neutral foodiesleuth On May 27, 2005, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

This plant will grow in Hawaii, but I have not seen too many of them around. It was a prolific growing tree in Cuba, where I was born and grew up. I never saw it get to the size mentioned by another poster, though. Mostly, small trees.

We kids would also roast the nuts to get rid of the outer layers, but always remembered to stand away from the smoke, since even the smoke can make you break out if you are suceptible to the poison.

My mom (who is originally from Atlanta) would use the fruit in recipes same as she would have used persimmons. The fruit on it's own is very puckerish - same as a persimmon that is not quite ripe.

Positive artcons On May 25, 2005, artcons from Fort Lauderdale, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

The picture I submitted is of my next door neighbor's tree. She has had it for about 7-8 years. It was planted in a bad spot so she has had to trim and shape the tree repeatedly. The tree responded positively and adapts. Fragrant small flowers who's scent travels to where I can smell it in my back yard, about 60' away. She roasts the nuts and makes pudding out of the fruit. The fruit which gets to be about the size of a large lemon, can be seen just beginning to grow in the inset photo, attached to the top of the cashew nut.

Positive jungleboy_fl On Apr 24, 2005, jungleboy_fl from Naples, FL wrote:

Here in Naples, I've never seen Cashew much larger than a small tree or large shrub. Perhaps the ultimate size is somewhat limited by the climate and soil conditions here. However, these are quite ornamental trees, and the flowers are extremely fragrant, spicy even. I've got one myself, which has proven to be much hardier than I expected. They begin to produce fruit early, and are of much interest in any subtropical garden- so long as there aren't any freezes in your future.

Negative WalterT On Nov 7, 2004, WalterT from San Diego, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

All hands shd be advised that this plant is closely related to Poison Oak/Ivy and the flower and fruit shd be handled with great care. I learned about this first hand while rambling around in Central America about 25 years ago. I ended up with terrible, itchy, swollen lips and fingers. Not everyone is allergic to the toxins involved (same thing goes for mangos!) but just to be safe, after handling these fruits, you shd carefully wash your hands and face with plenty of soap and water. WalterT

Positive Monocromatico On May 22, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This plant likes sandy soil, regular water, full sun, and high temperatures. It can grow a lot (the biggest cashew tree is of the size of a small stadium, though not so tall), so the garden must have some free space for it. The flowers are fragrant, and the cashews, as if it wasn't enough just being delicious, are very decorative with its reddish orange color. The bark is said to be good for haemorragies and throat infections

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Bradley, Florida
Eustis, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Miami, Florida
Mulberry, Florida
Naples, Florida
Rockledge, Florida
Vieques, Puerto Rico



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