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All You Need to Know About Cashew Tree

Ever wondered where cashews come from? These wonderful nuts are grown on trees scientifically known as Anacardium occidentale. It originates from South America but is also found in various other regions of the globe today.  

Here is everything you need to know about this tree.  

Where is it Grown? 

The cashew tree was first discovered in the sixteenth century by Portuguese explorers in the north-eastern region of Brazil. It flourishes in the tropical rainforests of the country. The Portuguese transported it to other regions of the world. Today, it is found in several countries with tropical or warm climate. These include Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines and Africa.  

Physical Features of the Tree 

This tropical plant is an evergreen tree. It consists of an irregularly shaped short trunk that is covered by a rather broad crown. The tree can grow up to a height of 46 feet. It consists of spirally arranged evergreen leaves which have a leathery texture. These leaves are usually found grouped together at the tips of the tree branches.  

Flowers that bloom on the cashew tree are reddish in color. These lead to the growth of accessory fruit or false fruit which is known as cashew apple. The “true fruit” is kidney-shaped. It appears to protrude from the bottom of the cashew apple. It is enclosed in a hard shell that turns from green to brown as it matures. The ripening of the true fruit causes the false fruit to mature and turn yellow or orange-red. As the latter ripens, it expands in size and pushes the kidney-shaped true fruit to fall down to the ground.  

Other Uses of Cashew Tree  

The main purpose of growing cashew tree is to provide us with its delectable and nutritious nuts. To get your hands on some high quality cashews, visit 

Interestingly, there are some by-products as well that make the tree very useful.  

These products are listed below.  

  • The accessory fruit of the tree is quite delicate and perishable. It cannot be transported to other parts of the world. Instead, it is enjoyed only in regions where the tree grows. The locals use it in a versatile way, making cashew apple juice, jams or salads.  
  • The locals also use the leaves of the cashew tree as a source of nutrition. These are cut and eater raw or cooked in meals.  
  • The wood of the tree serves as firewood. The bark is also used to prepare herbal treatments.  
  • The shell of cashews contains oil which in turn can be used to product varnish or epoxy resins.  

Fun Facts about Cashew Tree  

Here are some interesting facts about this useful tree.  

  • Cashew tree is a close relative of mango and pistachio.  
  • The largest cashew tree is found in Natal, Brazil where it is a tourist attraction. It spans a region of about seven thousand and five hundred meters squared.  
  • A cashew tree can continue to produce fruit for over thirty years.  
  • The bark of a cashew tree contains compounds called tannins that can be used for purifying water.  


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