Anacardium occidentale, Cashewnut, Cashewtree

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Anacaridum occidentale seeds

Anacaridum occidentale is better known as Cashewnut. It blongs to the Acacaridaceae and is native to Brazil. A. occidentale is a tree that can reach a height of 12m in nature. The fruits of the tree, the Cashewapples are not very well known here because they are difficult to transport. They are yellow and rich in various vitamins. In their home country the natives produce jam and wine of the fruits. What we know are the Cashewnuts, the seeds of the Cashewtree. They are formed like a kidney, this fact gave the tree the nickname kidneytree. Before selling the nuts the shell has to be removed from the seeds. The shell includes some chemical compounds that causes allergic reactions on our skin. The leaves of A. occidentale are placed spiral around the branch. They feel leathery when touching and are glossy. The flowers are very small compared to the fruit; they are first green and get reddish with the time. Both male and female flowers are on the same tree. The wood from A. occidentale is very hard (500kg/cm) because of that the wood is used to built furnitures and ships. The resin of the tree is brown and gets black when it contacts the air. It is used as varnish as preservative for fishing nets. So as one can see: A. occidentale is a real alround talent.


The seeds can be put into the earth without any pretreatment. The pot should be placed sunny and warm. Temperature should not go under 18°C. The earth should be moist but not really wet. In its home country A. occidentale is evergreen but in Germany where the sun isn’t shining the whole day, it drops its leaves during winter.

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