a.k.a. Malabar Chestnut
Brown pod fruit up to one foot long, containing several large
seeds that are eaten as nuts. Raw seeds are supposed to taste a bit
like peanuts, cooked seeds like chestnuts.
Description: Medium to large sized tree up to 60ft. Leaves are
long (to 10"), dark green, and compound. Gorgeous flowers bloom in
season, have long red-white stamens. Flowers are followed by huge,
up to 12" football shaped, brown fruit containing large edible
Hardiness: Hardy to about 28F.
Growing Environment: The Guiana Chestnut is adapted to swampy
regions and subsequently does very well planted along shore of fresh
water. It does prefer occasional soil drying, so don't plant in
permanent standing water. Grow in full sun or part shade.
Propagation: By seeds.
Uses: Huge fruit filled with large nuts sometimes reaching
the size of a tennis ball. Raw seeds are eaten and taste a bit like
peanuts. Seeds are also roasted or fried and taste a bit like
chestnut. The tree is occasionally grown as an ornamental both for
its striking fruits and flowers.
Native Range: Native to Central America and northern South
There is confusion between the two related Pachira species, the
Malabar Chestnut and the Guiana Chestnut. While the trees are
distinctly different in appearance, the scientific names are often
used interchangably. For whatever reason, in the Western U.S. and
Hawaii, P. aquatica often refers to the smaller fruiting Malabar
Chestnut, while in the Eastern U.S. it refers to the larger fruiting