Cashew, Cajú

Anacardium occidentale

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)
View this plant in a garden


Edible Fruits and Nuts


Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


over 40 ft. (12 m)


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink

Pale Green

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors 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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Gardeners' Notes:


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 ... read more


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.


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.


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.


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


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