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.
Seeds are not available for the Malabar Chesnut. Please visit our seed store to view current selections. Seeds were last available in April 2016.
Medium to large sized, spreading tree to over 60ft tall. Flowers are very fluffy and showy, having long, foot long petals drooping outwards from their center. Fruits burst open when ripe to expose the large seeds.
It is a fairly hardy tree, surviving to 28F in some sub-tropical climates such as Southern California, although it prefers a warmer year round climate.
It naturally grows near freshwater streams and swamps, so provide ample water when cultivating. Despite its aquatic tendencies, the Malabar Chestnut can survive periods of drought. Grow in full sun or part shade, protect from dry winds and low humidity days.
Propagation is usually by seed, or by rooting cuttings.
Seeds are eaten raw or cooked, usually boiled, roasted, or fried. Leaves and flowers are eaten as vegetables.
Native range extends from Mexico, through Central America and into northern South America. 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 Guiana Chestnut.
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