Category name:Nut Trees

Burrawang – Macrozamia communis

Burrawang, Macrozamia communis, is a nut bearing, primitive, palm-like shrub with aerial, cylindrical and varying height stems, persistent leaf bases and with a disproportionately thick trunk for height. Burrawang is a native of northern Australia and considered a relict plant, part of the Gondwanan flora of this country. It is a hardy plant, resistant to fire and drought, but, as a result of land clearing its distribution has been greatly reduced and it is now protected by law.

Macrozamia communis leaves are palmlike, pinnate, spirally arranged, interspersed with cataphylls and with the lower leaflets often reduced to spines. Crown with up to 150 leaves. Mature leaves blue, young leaves pubescent with branched or simple transparent hairs. Flowers and fruit are borne in cones on separate male and female plants. Pollen is distributed by the wind, but water is a requirement of fertilization as the males have swimming sperm.

Burrawang Nut

The female cone develops fruit which is attached to spikes. Burrawang fruit contains a nut that has been used by aborigines traditionally as a food article. However, the nut can be eaten only after it is made safe by processing, in a number of ways. After processing, Burrawang nut has a savory flavor reminiscent of mild cheese.

Burrawang Nut Propagation Methods

Plant propagation is by seed. Cropping of Burrawang is a long-term proposition due to the plants very slow growth. Macrozamia communis is a member of the family Zamiaceae genus Macrozamia

Burrawang, Macrozamia communis

Fruit and Nut Trees

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Cape Nutmeg – Horsfieldia Australiana

Cape Nutmeg, Horsfieldia Australiana, also known as Nutmeg Tree is a tropical evergreen tree, native to northern Australia and New Guinea. The plant can grow 10-20 meters tall, has a slightly buttressed base, brown closely creviced bark and a dense

Horsfieldia Australiana leaves are arranged in two vertical rows on opposite sides of the stem. They are glossy green above, when new, but dull and paler beneath. Leaf veins obscure on the upper surface, but strongly rose on the lower. Flowers are small, rounded, numerous, 2–2.5 mm long, 2.2–2.5 mm wide, mostly with short flower stems. Female flowers are slightly larger than male.

Cape Nutmeg Fruit

Cape Nutmeg fruit is edible, ellipsoidal shaped, 4cm long and 2.5cm wide, green early on with a yellowish pericarp when ripe. Fruit splits when ripe to expose an orange to red aril totally covering a single white seed (nut). The white kernel of the fruit is eaten raw or roasted. The nut has a coconut like taste.

Cape Nutmeg Propagation Methods

Cape Nutmeg propagation is by seed. The plant requires a deep, well drained soil and ample moisture. As a dioecious species, it needs both male and female forms to be grown if fruit and seed are required. It has being grown commercially for its seed (nut) in northern Australia. Horsfieldia Australiana is a member of the Myristicaceae family the genus Horsfieldia.

Cape Nutmeg, Horsfieldia Australiana

Fruit and Nut Trees

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Ozark Chinkapin – Castanea ozarkensis

Ozark chinkapin, Castanea ozarkensis, is a deciduous nut bearing tree, growing to 20 meters in height and attaining a trunk diameter of up to 1 meter under ideal conditions. It is a cousin of the chestnut tree and a native to eastern North America of the Southern Appalachian belt. Most of the Ozark chinkapin trees have succumbed to the Chestnut Blight (trees usually develop the blight after 5-6 years) and with only stumps remaining that stay on bearing fruit yearly. Likely, there is an active foundation working to re-establish the tree once again.

Castanea ozarkensis leaves are 12-22 cm in length, up to 5 cm wide, simple, alternate, elliptical, sharp coarsely serrated, green to yellow-green and hairless on top. The leaf’s underside is paler with a downy appearance and with tiny cream color hairs. Leaves turn yellow in the fall.

Flowers are small, yellowish, bundled into a spike known as a catkin and can be fetid smelling. Male flowers occur in slender erect spikes 20 cm in length. Female flowers are less conspicuous and occur below male flowers of some spikes or in shorter, groupings of female spikes.

The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Insects. The tree is in flower in early summertime, and the seeds ripen in autumn.

Ozark chinkapin Nuts

Ozark chinkapin nuts are protected by lean, hairy, 2 cm spines that form a protective nut bur. These burs average 4-5 cm in diameter and occur in clusters of 5-20. In autumn the burs split into 2-6 segments, freeing a brown, single, solitary, round, delicious nut. The nuts vary in size from 2 cm to 4 cm in diameter depending on conditions. They may be small but very tasty. They are eaten raw or cooked.

Ozark chinkapin Propagation Methods

Plant propagation is by seed and from old tree stumps. The plant prefers a good well-drained slightly acid loam but also does well in dry soils. Once established, it is very drought tolerant and thrives in areas with hot summers. Generally the trees grow on acidic rocky cherty soils. It hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Castanea ozarkensis is a member of the Fagaceae family the genus Chestnut.

Ozark chinkapin, Castanea ozarkensis

Fruit and Nut Trees

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Argan- Argania spinosa – Moroccan Ironwood

Argan, Argania spinosa, also known as Moroccan ironwood, is a thorny evergreen, nut bearing tree, native to semi-desert Quet Sous valley of south-western Morocco, between Essaouira and Agadir, and to the Algerian region of Tindouf in the western Mediterranean region. Argan trees grow up to 10 meters tall and capable of living for more than 200 years. The plant is a non-cultivated forest tree, in its native land, but when in cultivation it requires no special attention.

Argania spinosa has a stubby, often twisted and covered with knobs and knots trunk. Leaves are small, 2–4 cm long, oval and with a rounded apex. The Argan leaves have a high concentration of polyphenols, known for their anti-free radical properties and for the prevention of skin aging. Flowers are small, with five pale yellow-green petals.

Argan Fruit and Nuts

The fruit of the Argan tree is green with fleshy exterior similar to that of the olive but larger and rounder. Inside the fruit, there is a nut with an extremely hard shell, which in turn contains one, two or three almond-shaped kernels that contain highly esteemed oil (argan oil). Each nut has to be cracked open to remove the kernels. Seeds are pressed to obtain the expensive and highly useful oil in cooking and cosmetic industry, Fruit takes over a year to mature.

Argan oil is much like olive oil, slightly darker with a reddish tinge but with similar fat content. It can be used for cooking and is claimed to have various medicinal properties. It is rich in vitamin E, natural squalane, phytosterols and essential fatty acids.

Argan oil contains:

• 45% Oleic acid
• 28% Alpha-linolenic acid
• 13% Palmitic acid
• 6% Stearidonic acid
• 5% Linoleic acid
• 3% Myristic acid

Residue from the kernels, after oil extraction, a thick chocolate-colored paste called “amlou“, similar to that of peanut butter in flavor is commonly sweetened and served as a dip or spread at breakfast time.
Argania spinosa is the perfect plant for a harsh environment as it is highly tolerant and well adapted to extreme drought, high heat, and poor soil conditions. Argan trees serve a dual purpose, were they naturally grow; animal fodder oil production. Foliage and the fruit pulp is often used as food for farm animals.

Argan Propagation Methods

Plant propagation is by seed. The tree needs full sun and lime rich soil. The plant is considered to be a Tertiary relic species. Argania spinosa is a member of the family Sapotaceae the genus Argania.

Argan, Argania spinosa, Moroccan ironwood

Fruit and Nut Trees

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Sherbet Tree – Dialium schlechteri

Sherbet Tree, Dialium schlechteri, is a tropical, small to medium, 5-15 meters, deciduous, fruit bearing tree, indigenous to forests of Mozambique and eastern South Africa. It is very attractive plant with a dense, rounded crown and smooth, mottled whitish bark.

Dialium schlechteri leaves are compound, opposite, with 3-6 pairs of leaflets and a terminal one; leaflets are shiny dark green with asymmetric bases and entire margins; lower ones broadly ovate and rounded at the base, the upper ones elliptic and wedge-shaped at the base. Flowers are small, 6-10 mm across and petals are absent. Flowers are born, up to 25, in compact panicles. They have a strong but unpleasant scent.

Sherbet Tree Fruit

The fruit of the Sherbet Tree is oval, 2.5 cm long, thin-shelled and smooth red-brown with a dry, orange pulp and 1 or 2, brown, shiny seeds. It is edible, eaten raw, and very popular with Zulu children since it is pleasing to the sense of taste. The pulp is occasionally mixed with water and milk to make a refreshing drink. The brown Sherbet Tree fruit is borne in large numbers from autumn onwards.

The wood of the Sherbet Tree has a beautiful close grain, a good surface and a fine reddish color. It is hard, heavy and insect-proof. Powdered bark of the Sherbet Tree is used locally as a treatment for burns.

Sherbet Tree Propagation Methods

Plant propagation is by seed. Seeds are first soaked, overnight, in warm water. The plant is sensitive to weather cold enough to cause freezing, but does well in frost-free subtropical environments. Dialium schlechteri is a member of the family Leguminosae the genus Dialium.

Sherbet Tree, Dialium schlechteri

Fruit and Nut Trees

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  • Sustainable Garden

    Trees provide great ecological, economic and cultural values.

    A Garden with Fruit Trees and Nut Trees is a Fulfilling, Meaningful and Worthy Undertaking.

  • Olive groveOlive grove
  • Fruit and Nuts

    Fruit and nut trees are special and unlike vegetables they will produce for a lot of years with a better return on effort than anything else in the garden.

    In addition to fruit and nut production these trees can be value for shade, timber and as a support for climbing plants. Their crops are good sources of minerals, vitamins, protein and fats and make the perfect snacks for kids.

    While the planting location of a tree is highly important for a successful production of fruit and nuts, when selecting a fruit tree or a nut tree from your local nursery, some additional factors you should consider are:

    tree shape and size
    taste, texture and use of fruit
    time of harvest season
    disease and pest resistance.

    Multi-Grafted trees are an alternative for small gardens where space is limited and several types of fruit are desired.

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