If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
Useful Tropical Plants

Pachira aquatica

Aubl.

Malvaceae

+ Synonyms

Bombax aquaticum (Aubl.) K.Schum.

Bombax macrocarpum (Schltdl. & Cham.) K.Schum.

Carolinea macrocarpa Schltdl. & Cham.

Pachira macrocarpa (Schltdl. & Cham.) Walp.

Common Name: Malabar Chestnut

Pachira aquatica
Cultivated tree in Sao Paulo, Brazil
Photograph by: mauroguanandi
Creative Commons License
Pachira aquatica Pachira aquatica Pachira aquatica Pachira aquatica Pachira aquatica Pachira aquatica

General Information

Malabar chestnut is an evergreen tree with a dense, roundish crown. It usually grows 6 - 14 metres tall, but exceptionally to 23 metres. The straight, cylindrical bole can be 30 - 40cm in diameter, usually branching from fairly low down[
419
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 1. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-17-8
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
].
The plant has a wide range of uses, being valued especially for its edible seeds but also providing other foods, medicines, fibre, dyestuff, wood etc. It is often cultivated, and has become naturalized, in many areas of the tropics for its edible seed[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. The tree is also planted as a street tree, to provide shade and as an ornamental in gardens[
324
Title
Edible Nuts.
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products, Handbook 5
Author
Wickens G.E.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome.
Year
1995
ISBN
92-5-103748-5
Description
Detailed information on 20 of the most valuable nut crops, plus more basic information on a wide range of other nut-producing plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.

Range

S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas; C. America - Panama to Mexico.

Habitat

River estuaries and lowland rainforests[
307
Title
Tropical and Subtropical Trees - A Worldwide Encyclopaedic Guide.
Publication
 
Author
Barwick. M.
Publisher
Thames & Hudson, London
Year
2004
ISBN
0-500-51181-0
Description
A superb book, very concise and well written, giving a wealth of information on 400 or more species including descriptions, habitat, cultivation details and plant uses. A wealth of colour photographs bring each plant vividly to life.
]. Sparsely vegetated, marshy riverine, clay soils; also grows well on sandy or sandy-clay soils of terra firma[
324
Title
Edible Nuts.
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products, Handbook 5
Author
Wickens G.E.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome.
Year
1995
ISBN
92-5-103748-5
Description
Detailed information on 20 of the most valuable nut crops, plus more basic information on a wide range of other nut-producing plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height12.00 m
Growth RateMedium
PollinatorsBats
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the humid tropics, it is able to tolerate a wide range of temperatures and humidity[
324
Title
Edible Nuts.
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products, Handbook 5
Author
Wickens G.E.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome.
Year
1995
ISBN
92-5-103748-5
Description
Detailed information on 20 of the most valuable nut crops, plus more basic information on a wide range of other nut-producing plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
Prefers a deep, fertile loamy soil in full sun or light shade[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
307
Title
Tropical and Subtropical Trees - A Worldwide Encyclopaedic Guide.
Publication
 
Author
Barwick. M.
Publisher
Thames & Hudson, London
Year
2004
ISBN
0-500-51181-0
Description
A superb book, very concise and well written, giving a wealth of information on 400 or more species including descriptions, habitat, cultivation details and plant uses. A wealth of colour photographs bring each plant vividly to life.
]. Established plants are drought resistant[
324
Title
Edible Nuts.
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products, Handbook 5
Author
Wickens G.E.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome.
Year
1995
ISBN
92-5-103748-5
Description
Detailed information on 20 of the most valuable nut crops, plus more basic information on a wide range of other nut-producing plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The seeds are able to float in water for several months without loss of viability, not germinating until they are washed up on the land[
307
Title
Tropical and Subtropical Trees - A Worldwide Encyclopaedic Guide.
Publication
 
Author
Barwick. M.
Publisher
Thames & Hudson, London
Year
2004
ISBN
0-500-51181-0
Description
A superb book, very concise and well written, giving a wealth of information on 400 or more species including descriptions, habitat, cultivation details and plant uses. A wealth of colour photographs bring each plant vividly to life.
].
A fast-growing tree, able to reach a height of 3.5 metres within 2 years from seed[
419
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 1. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-17-8
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
].
Flowers are first produced when plants are 4 - 5 years[
324
Title
Edible Nuts.
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products, Handbook 5
Author
Wickens G.E.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome.
Year
1995
ISBN
92-5-103748-5
Description
Detailed information on 20 of the most valuable nut crops, plus more basic information on a wide range of other nut-producing plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
Flowering and fruiting can take place throughout the year[
324
Title
Edible Nuts.
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products, Handbook 5
Author
Wickens G.E.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome.
Year
1995
ISBN
92-5-103748-5
Description
Detailed information on 20 of the most valuable nut crops, plus more basic information on a wide range of other nut-producing plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
Plants are often grown as bonsai specimens and house plants, being very tolerant of drought and shade[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Edible Uses

Seed - raw or cooked. The raw seed tastes like peanuts, when roasted or fried in oil it has the flavour of chestnuts[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. The roasted seeds taste like cocoa[
324
Title
Edible Nuts.
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products, Handbook 5
Author
Wickens G.E.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome.
Year
1995
ISBN
92-5-103748-5
Description
Detailed information on 20 of the most valuable nut crops, plus more basic information on a wide range of other nut-producing plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The seed can be ground into a flour and used to make a bread[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. The roasted seed is sometimes used to make a beverage[
324
Title
Edible Nuts.
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products, Handbook 5
Author
Wickens G.E.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome.
Year
1995
ISBN
92-5-103748-5
Description
Detailed information on 20 of the most valuable nut crops, plus more basic information on a wide range of other nut-producing plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The seeds are contained in a large capsule that can be up to 30cm long and weigh 3 kilos[
307
Title
Tropical and Subtropical Trees - A Worldwide Encyclopaedic Guide.
Publication
 
Author
Barwick. M.
Publisher
Thames & Hudson, London
Year
2004
ISBN
0-500-51181-0
Description
A superb book, very concise and well written, giving a wealth of information on 400 or more species including descriptions, habitat, cultivation details and plant uses. A wealth of colour photographs bring each plant vividly to life.
].

The seeds yield 58% of a white, inodorous fat which, when refined, is suitable for cooking[
324
Title
Edible Nuts.
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products, Handbook 5
Author
Wickens G.E.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome.
Year
1995
ISBN
92-5-103748-5
Description
Detailed information on 20 of the most valuable nut crops, plus more basic information on a wide range of other nut-producing plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]

Young leaves and flowers - cooked and used as a vegetable[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
,
307
Title
Tropical and Subtropical Trees - A Worldwide Encyclopaedic Guide.
Publication
 
Author
Barwick. M.
Publisher
Thames & Hudson, London
Year
2004
ISBN
0-500-51181-0
Description
A superb book, very concise and well written, giving a wealth of information on 400 or more species including descriptions, habitat, cultivation details and plant uses. A wealth of colour photographs bring each plant vividly to life.
,
324
Title
Edible Nuts.
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products, Handbook 5
Author
Wickens G.E.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome.
Year
1995
ISBN
92-5-103748-5
Description
Detailed information on 20 of the most valuable nut crops, plus more basic information on a wide range of other nut-producing plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Medicinal

The skin of the immature green fruit is used in the treatment of hepatitis[
307
Title
Tropical and Subtropical Trees - A Worldwide Encyclopaedic Guide.
Publication
 
Author
Barwick. M.
Publisher
Thames & Hudson, London
Year
2004
ISBN
0-500-51181-0
Description
A superb book, very concise and well written, giving a wealth of information on 400 or more species including descriptions, habitat, cultivation details and plant uses. A wealth of colour photographs bring each plant vividly to life.
].

The seeds are used as an anaesthetic[
307
Title
Tropical and Subtropical Trees - A Worldwide Encyclopaedic Guide.
Publication
 
Author
Barwick. M.
Publisher
Thames & Hudson, London
Year
2004
ISBN
0-500-51181-0
Description
A superb book, very concise and well written, giving a wealth of information on 400 or more species including descriptions, habitat, cultivation details and plant uses. A wealth of colour photographs bring each plant vividly to life.
].


The bark is used medicinally to treat stomach complaints and headaches while[
324
Title
Edible Nuts.
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products, Handbook 5
Author
Wickens G.E.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome.
Year
1995
ISBN
92-5-103748-5
Description
Detailed information on 20 of the most valuable nut crops, plus more basic information on a wide range of other nut-producing plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. A tisane from the boiled bark is used as a blood tonic[
324
Title
Edible Nuts.
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products, Handbook 5
Author
Wickens G.E.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome.
Year
1995
ISBN
92-5-103748-5
Description
Detailed information on 20 of the most valuable nut crops, plus more basic information on a wide range of other nut-producing plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

A cold water infusion of the crushed leaves is used to treat a burning sensation in the skin[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

Other Uses

A yellow dye is obtained from the bark[
307
Title
Tropical and Subtropical Trees - A Worldwide Encyclopaedic Guide.
Publication
 
Author
Barwick. M.
Publisher
Thames & Hudson, London
Year
2004
ISBN
0-500-51181-0
Description
A superb book, very concise and well written, giving a wealth of information on 400 or more species including descriptions, habitat, cultivation details and plant uses. A wealth of colour photographs bring each plant vividly to life.
]. A dark red dye is obtained[
324
Title
Edible Nuts.
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products, Handbook 5
Author
Wickens G.E.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome.
Year
1995
ISBN
92-5-103748-5
Description
Detailed information on 20 of the most valuable nut crops, plus more basic information on a wide range of other nut-producing plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

A fibre is obtained from the bark[
324
Title
Edible Nuts.
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products, Handbook 5
Author
Wickens G.E.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome.
Year
1995
ISBN
92-5-103748-5
Description
Detailed information on 20 of the most valuable nut crops, plus more basic information on a wide range of other nut-producing plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It is used for caulking boats and cordage[
324
Title
Edible Nuts.
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products, Handbook 5
Author
Wickens G.E.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome.
Year
1995
ISBN
92-5-103748-5
Description
Detailed information on 20 of the most valuable nut crops, plus more basic information on a wide range of other nut-producing plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The oil from the seed has industrial potential for manufacturing soap[
324
Title
Edible Nuts.
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products, Handbook 5
Author
Wickens G.E.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome.
Year
1995
ISBN
92-5-103748-5
Description
Detailed information on 20 of the most valuable nut crops, plus more basic information on a wide range of other nut-producing plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The fruit is spread on the ground in order to repel sand fleas[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

The white wood is light in weight, fibrous, soft and of low durability[
324
Title
Edible Nuts.
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products, Handbook 5
Author
Wickens G.E.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome.
Year
1995
ISBN
92-5-103748-5
Description
Detailed information on 20 of the most valuable nut crops, plus more basic information on a wide range of other nut-producing plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
419
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 1. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-17-8
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
]. It is used only for low quality purposes such as making boxes and matches and is suitable for manufacturing paper, yielding 36% cellulose paste[
324
Title
Edible Nuts.
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products, Handbook 5
Author
Wickens G.E.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome.
Year
1995
ISBN
92-5-103748-5
Description
Detailed information on 20 of the most valuable nut crops, plus more basic information on a wide range of other nut-producing plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
419
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 1. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-17-8
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
].

Propagation

Seed - - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a partially shaded position in individual containers. A germination rate of almost 100% can be expected, with the seed sprouting within 5 - 10 days[
324
Title
Edible Nuts.
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products, Handbook 5
Author
Wickens G.E.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome.
Year
1995
ISBN
92-5-103748-5
Description
Detailed information on 20 of the most valuable nut crops, plus more basic information on a wide range of other nut-producing plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
419
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 1. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-17-8
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
]. Seedlings grow away quickly and they should be ready to plant out 3 - 4 months later[
324
Title
Edible Nuts.
Publication
Non-Wood Forest Products, Handbook 5
Author
Wickens G.E.
Website
http://www.fao.org/docrep/
Publisher
FAO, Rome.
Year
1995
ISBN
92-5-103748-5
Description
Detailed information on 20 of the most valuable nut crops, plus more basic information on a wide range of other nut-producing plants. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
419
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 1. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-17-8
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
].
The seed has a very short viability of 20 - 30 days in storage[
419
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 1. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-17-8
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
].
Cuttings
Layering

Add a Comment:

If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.