Caryocar butyrosum (Aubl.) Willd.
Pekea butyrosa Aubl.
Pekea villosa (Aubl.) Poir.
Rhizobolus butyrosus (Aubl.) J.F.Gmel.
Saouari villosa Aubl.
Common Name: Piquia
Fruits, with two cut open to show the flesh
Photograph by: Renan Chisté
Piquia is an evergreen or briefly deciduous tree growing 20 - 45 metres tall with a straight bole 90 - 180cm in diameter[
The plant is valued within its native range, especially for its edible fruit and seed, which are gathered from the wild and used locally. The plant also provides an edible oil and useful timber.
The wild trees in the Amazonian region are protected. In 1920 the species was introduced to Malaysia (Kedah State); the plantations for oil production were destroyed during World War II[
The seed case beneath the pulp has rigid spines - care should be taken when eating the fresh fruit that one does not harm themselves on these spines[
Northern S. America - Brazil to Guyana.
Found in both primary and secondary rainforests on land that is not subject to periodic inundation[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
A slow-growing tree[
Seed - raw or cooked[
]. Eaten as a dessert[
]. The large, soft, white kernels have a delicious, rich, almond-like flavour[
]. Rich in oil[
An edible oil is obtained from the tissue surrounding the seed[
Another edible oil is obtained from the seed[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. It has the faint smell of rancid butter[
]. The fruit is more commonly cooked[
]. The fleshy, aromatic, yellow pulp has a slightly sweet flavour[
]. The seed case beneath the pulp has rigid spines - care should be taken when eating the fresh fruit that one does not harm themselves on these spines[
The leaves and bark are diaphoretic[
The heartwood is yellow to light brownish grey; it is clearly demarcated from the 15mm wide band of dirty white sapwood. The wood is cross-grained, with little if any taste or odour. It is rather hard, heavy, very tough, durable and very resistant to wood-eating organisms. The wood works well; takes nails fairly well; planes moderaely easily but very badly; turns moderately easily but indifferently; polishes indifferently. It is suitable for house and ship building, cabinet making, wheel arches and hubs, fence posts, railway sleepers etc[
Seed - takes 6 - 12 months to germinate[
]. Alternatively, immerse the seeds in warm water for 48 hours, changing the water every 12 hours[
]. Sow the seed in individual containers in a sunny or lightly shaded position. Pre-soaked seed can sprout within 30 - 50 days with a moderate germination rate[
]. Grow young plants on in a sheltered position with some shelter from the sun[
]. Seedlings can be planted out when 25 cm tall[
Good results can be obtained from grafting and marcottage[
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