Pachira Species, French Peanut, Guiana Chestnut, Malabar Chestnut, Money Tree, Saba Nut

Pachira aquatica

Family: Bombacaceae
Genus: Pachira (pak-EYE-ruh) (Info)
Species: aquatica (a-KWA-tee-kuh) (Info)
Synonym:Bombax aquaticum
View this plant in a garden


Edible Fruits and Nuts


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


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:

Suitable for growing in containers


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

By air layering

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Gaylesville, Alabama

Mc Calla, Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Mesa, Arizona

Beverly Hills, California

Garden Grove, California

Glen Avon, California

Hawthorne, California

Hayward, California

Merced, California

Mountain View, California

Pedley, California

Rubidoux, California

San Francisco, California

San Pedro, California

Sunnyslope, California

Denver, Colorado

Milford, Connecticut

Brandon, Florida

Fort Myers, Florida

Loxahatchee, Florida(2 reports)

Merritt Island, Florida

Miami, Florida

Mulberry, Florida

Oakland, Florida

Orange Park, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida(2 reports)

Port Saint Lucie, Florida

Sarasota, Florida(2 reports)

Summerland Key, Florida

Venice, Florida

Vero Beach, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Tunnel Hill, Georgia

Honomu, Hawaii

Chicago, Illinois

Kenner, Louisiana

Baltimore, Maryland

Brooklyn, New York

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes

Greenville, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Brownsville, Texas

Dripping Springs, Texas

Houston, Texas(2 reports)

Falls Church, Virginia

Cabin Creek, West Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 3, 2015, greenman62 from Kenner, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

purchased on sale from Home Depot for $4
with 4 trees braided toether
about a foot tall.

this is supposed to be a nice tasting nut tree.

the leaves can get burned in too much direct sun
i give it 2 hours direct sun, and the rest filtered light under my other plants.
it can get used to more sun, if slowly acclimated.

it can take inundation of water for several days but, it does need to dry out after.
it appears to like a sandy soil with organic matter
and compost. i use a light fish fertilizer.

update: april 2017

so, in January we had a freeze, and i lost the plant
it never did get very big, only about 2 ft tall and thats probably why the freeze killed it.<... read more


On Mar 7, 2015, jv123 from Washougal, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a great houseplant. Mine has grown very large sitting in an east facing window. It started out with 6 inches of trunk, and now it has about 3 feet of trunk, all in the same pot. Some of the individual leaflets are over a foot long! It loves water, and I can't seem to water it enough. Some other comments have been questioning the droplets of sap that sometimes form on the undersides of the leaves and the stems... Mine does that when it is stressed by bugs. I sometimes have problems with spider mites on this plant in the winter, when warm dry air from the furnace makes the plant unhappy. I know that when I start to see those droplets, I should check for spider mites. Once I get rid of the spider mites, the droplets disappear.


On Jun 7, 2013, JUSTEILEEN from Port St Lucie, FL wrote:

I purchased small Pachira Money Tree 4 years ago (Port St. Lucie, FL). Kept it on porch facing South w/East-West exposure. It barely thrived and almost died. I decided to plant in my garden, facing West (lots of sun exposure). It took off quite well, while I babied it. Today 2013, it is approxly 14 ft with lots of new shoots. I unbraided it when I planted it, cause in the pot it seemed to wither that way. We've had continuous hot weather this June and white featherly flowers bloomed and died. This A.M. after long drenched Tropical Andrea passed thru, I noticed one-huge-size ball, resembling a Walnut. I came to website to investigate this. I am excited to hear you can eat the peanut tasting walnuts and replant seeds in garden. I don't know when walnuts can be plucked and/or if ... read more


On Sep 12, 2011, leha from Santa Rosa, CA wrote:

Actually, the name 'aquatica' IS misleading, because the plant pictured is Pachira glabra. It is glabra that has the swollen trunk at the base, and glabra that has many nuts within a single fruit. Pachira aquatica has a single, large nut inside each fruit, and does not swell at the base.

Most plants sold as 'aquatica' are actually 'glabra.' I learned this by trying to ID mine (a glabra).

It's a lovely plant!


On Mar 9, 2011, SpaceCase418 from Annapolis, MD wrote:

i have had mine for six years and had no idea it flowered or produced nuts! I have kept it as a bonsai. It came into my collection the same way every one else got theirs. I transferred it from a 4" plastic pot into a classier 10" bonsai pot that is only 5" deep. It has doubled in size and is now about 2.5' tall & each of the bases is now about an inch thick so its starting to look like a real bonsai. the only problems i have ever had was i injured it trying to braid it as each strand got longer.


On Apr 16, 2010, misscoquette from Chicago, IL wrote:

I'm growing this plant indoors, it sits right in front of a big floor to ceiling window. The leaves are turning Yellow with Brown spots. Under the leaves are clear droplets, which when you touch them they are gewy. Is it bugs? What should I do? Any advice? I've taken 10 photos, I'm not sure where to post them.


On Sep 13, 2009, mgeno from Philadelphia, PA wrote:

I too fell in love with this as my first new addition to my then new apt. Shopping for furniture at Ikea, I purchased a money tree for $2 as it was tiny. Looking up the care info online, I found it's supposed to be good luck for new houses! Wow. So it has worked so far and also it seem crazy-happy in my 8x4' north lit window. It's grown from 5" to nearly 7' over the last 4 years.
I had a couple trouble times though. Once, it seemed that something was eating holes in it's leaves from the center areas out. This killed leaves and they dropped for the first time! I didn't know what to do so I took a warm, soap sudsy cloth and wiped the remaining leaves down. This seemed to work. It's been a year since that problem and now it's occasionally dropping a leaf or getting yellow/... read more


On Apr 26, 2008, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

Actually the name aquatica is not misleading, it's a tellin! My wife's small braided plant is thriving in 4" pot that sits in a Asian style glazed ceramic pot with its roots constantly sitting in water. The Pachira is about a bushy foot a half tall in that tiny pot!..with the thick trunk. Amazing how large and healthy in so small, a container.

Fertilizer? What fertilizer? lol. I have had Pachira's with about 8' of trunk(no braids) bloom in a greenhouse.

They also do grow outdoors in Southern California with a bloom almost identical to the Pseudobombax ellipteca and the true Bombax ceiba. I suspect it can be grown outdoors in the bay area as a tropical deciduous shrub.


On Apr 26, 2008, Roena from Auburn, CA wrote:

I own one of these for about 6 months now.
Plant is braided, about 6 ft tall, beautiful specimen.
I keep it inside, infront of window with blinds slanted to give it enough light without allowing direct sun light since I am afraid the leaves may not tolerate full exposure to sunlight., water about once a week, but then the pot gets at least a gallon of water. Since I live in northern California and have a nice,
shady spot outside I will probably move it outside by the end of May.
Pachira Aquatica is a little bit misleading on the Aquatica part. Trunks have all the characertistics of a succulent plant and I would be carefull of overwatering it when kept inside.

Since my plant is a large specimen once a week watering is enough, smaller ones need to b... read more


On Aug 24, 2007, SaintStephen from Barstow, CA wrote:

I live in the High Desert of Calif. (Barstow). This plant will not last in our summer heat and sun light. The leafs will burn and the plant will die. I grow mine indoors in defused sun light and I keep the soil moist at all times. (Good Luck)


On Mar 4, 2007, spookoze from Fort Myers, FL wrote:

I love my tree!

I have had my Guyana Tree outside for 6-7 years. It's about 16 feet tall and we have yielded many chestnuts. We get lots of butterflies around the flowers when in bloom and the scent of them is intoxicating hanging outside at night! And now that I saw someone mention the bat attraction, I can see the connection now, as we get them too.

My problem is a bug, "tiny leaf notchers." I also have a couple of leaves with that brown coloration.


On Dec 4, 2006, Lem79 from Gold Coast,
Australia wrote:

I've found this tree to be very hardy, and drought tolerant. The flowers are the best part of it. It's a night bloomer. The flowers only last one night and into the early afternoon before falling off. The fragrance is delicate yet powerful, even overwhelming - especially at night, and even more especially when there's a cluster of trees since they all flower at the same time.

I really do enjoy this tree, and have many of them growing.


On Mar 14, 2006, hopewell55 from Pennington, NJ wrote:

I've had a six-foot pachira aquatica for several months. Lately the leaves have been turning brown and dropping off. Some have a clear sticky substance under the leaf before they spot and brown. It's in the sun.


On May 21, 2005, greyyhawkk from Seattle, WA wrote:

i own two of these (indoors)... one only 10 inches high with 1/2 inch trunk and the other is 30 inches with a 5 1/2 inch braided trunk. both have fought something that looks like powdery mildew, but turns into something that looks like blackspot. maybe its both. then mass leaf-dropping of the diseased leaves. ive been using specticide's immunox systemic fungicide with temporary success. i have to re-treat every 1 1/2 weeks to 2 weeks. i dont like using chemicals at all. the little one seems to do better when on the dry side. contradictory... the big one seems to be stressed if on the dry side and i get more of the leaf-drop. maybe because i bought it rootbound and havent repotted it. maybe repotting (IN WHAT TYPE OF SOIL?) would bring the balance the tree needs... light is medium..... read more


On Mar 5, 2005, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Frequently sold for good luck, and potted like small bonsai trees with braided trunks. Fairly good indoor plant, and good outdoor plant in warmer climates. Surprisingly easy to care for and surprisingly drought tolerant in pots.

I have had this tree three years now living on porch out of sunshine, and also out of path of watering... so gets underwatered, yet still does OK.. .what is interesting to me is that it has produced a number of long, rope-like roots that have left the pot, trailed all the way off the porch and dove into the planters below... like an alien in search of another body... sort of creepy. Pretty resourceful plant!


On Mar 4, 2005, mbguy from Conway, SC wrote:

Im not much of a green thumb, but I just started my own business, and one day shopping at home depot, I came across the "money tree" so I picked one up(being superstitous a little) and I have had complete success with this plant--as in, it's been alive for more then 3 months, and it's grown a tremendous deal... I plan to re-pot it out of it's bonsai pot today, in hopes that someday it will bloom...(4-5 years from what I hear).


On Dec 20, 2004, xoxokristinoxox from Fort Wayne, IN wrote:

I have really enjoyed the money tree we purchased. It has substantially gotten bigger since it's purchase a couple months ago. It is being grown indoors in direct sun/shade and the soil is kept moist. It has not flowered nor produced any nuts though-only grown. I think it could be attributed to the lack of shade... Nonetheless, the plant is really cool to look at and a pleasure to own.


On Aug 23, 2004, Kylecawaza from Corte Madera, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

This palm will only be beautiful if you water the heck out of it. It loves water and when I saw them in their habitat in Costa Rica, they re usually partially submerged in the water.


On Jun 7, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This tree is extensively used for urban arborization here in Rio de Janeiro. The flowers are big, cream colored, with long and pink stamens, fragrant. Flowers stay open for one night, and attract bats - interesting to observe.

The fruit looks like a cocoa, but it dries in the plant and expels the seeds, which are edible and very nutritious. Ironic because I see people starving here while there are nuts of Pachira aquatica available everywhere for everyone. They just dont know that they can eat it.


On Jun 7, 2003, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is the plant that is sold as the Feng Shui "Money Tree", otherwise known as the Malabar Chestnut, native from southern Mexico to northern Brazil. The edible nuts [seed kernels] taste like peanuts when raw and like chestnuts when roasted.