Cashew tree is widely cultivated in tropical regions of Brazil. The plant is easily recognized by its characteristic branching trunk and wide crown. The tree grows up to 10-30 meters. It blooms with greenish flowers, gathered in small "panicles", in which juicy fruits with cashews are formed. These orange, sour, and edible fruits of botany are called "pseudo-fruits" because of their similarity to apples.
Usually the fruits ripen in the third month after flowering. The nuts themselves are reliably protected by a two-layer skin and are located at the ends of the cashew apples. They are used as nuts and products from them - butter (pasta).
Tree growing area: where cashew grows
Since tropical brazil is the birthplace of cashews, we can safely assume where this walnut tree grows. Culture is still cultivated in South America, however, a much larger area of cashew cultivation was occupied by several of the largest producing countries: India, Vietnam, Nigeria, Iran, as well as countries in West and Southeast Africa. Each year, these countries supply more than 500 thousand tons of raw cashews to the markets of all regions, which is about 90% of world cashew exports.
Today, cashew trees are cultivated in 32 countries. The main condition for the development of a fertile plant is high and sufficient humidity. Cashew tree is extremely light-loving, it needs nutrient drained soil and moderate watering. In natural tropical conditions reaches 30 meters in height. The plant propagates by seed, and under favorable conditions it lives up to 100 years or more.
Growing cashews at home
Interestingly, despite the tropical origin of this tree, cashews can be grown in a greenhouse, conservatory, and even in indoor conditions. To do this, it is necessary to create the conditions for plant care that are close to the original climate, namely, warm and humid air.
Before planting, seeds are germinated in the traditional way - soaked for about 48 hours in tepid clear water. It is important to remember that the water in the tank with the seeds must be carefully changed several times a day (when germinated, the cashew seeds are painted a bluish color: this way they get rid of the toxic substance of cardol). After the indicated time, the swollen seeds are planted in a prepared pot (1.5 - 2 liters) with soil (a light nutritious mixture of soil for indoor plants is suitable for cashews) and drainage.
Seeds are planted separately (1 seed per pot). Pots should be placed in a well-lit place and cover with plastic wrap or daily spray the soil to maintain moisture. Do not allow drafts and drying out of the soil. In the right conditions, the first shoots appear 15-20 days after planting.
Cashew Tree Care Tips
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At home, cashew grows more like an ornamental or experimental plant, but caring for such an unpretentious Brazilian tree gives real pleasure and a deep understanding of how a cashew tree grows.
How cashew grows
Homemade cashew tree grown by bonsai technology.
Panicle-shaped inflorescences, where cashew nuts are born after pollination, reach 26 cm in nature. Each nut grows on a thick juicy stem, which is mistaken for fruit and is called an apple. A yellow or red pseudo-fruit the size of an average pear is edible, its sour-knitting pulp is eaten by the aborigines where the tree is spread. The product is not suitable for transportation - it deteriorates within a day due to the high tannin content. Jams, condiments, juices, as well as strong alcoholic drink Fenny are prepared from pseudo-fruits on the spot, for example, by the inhabitants of Goa.
Everything is useful in ripe cashew: juicy pseudo-fruit and a nutlet on it
The real, valuable fruit of cashews, a nutlet the size of a large bean, hides behind two shells of a miniature mitten on top of the receptacle. One and a half grams of pure weight without shells are proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins A, B1, B2, iron, calcium, zinc, phosphorus. The nutlet rightfully deserves the love of millions of people around the world, as evidenced by tons (2.7 million) of annual exports from three dozen countries where a heat-loving plant is cultivated. Brazil, being the birthplace of the plant, takes only fifth place on this list. The Vietnamese won the first, collecting nearly a billion tons of nuts for sale - more than a third of world exports.
So cashew nuts ripen in their natural environment.
Where does cashew grow and why is “Indian nut”
Indian nut became not in India, but South America, thanks to the Tikun tribe consuming the yellow acaju fruit on the Amazon coast. The Indians learned to get the maximum benefit from wood, giving rise to non-waste production:
- Cardoil - raw material for technical, medical oil is extracted from the nut shell.
- From the old trunks reached 12 meters, extracted gum. Wood is used in construction.
- Leaves are used by locals in households.
- Cashew apples are used by the food industry.
Appetizing fruit stalks with nuts
As for India, the country represents the top three largest cashew exporters in the world market and is an artificial habitat for the Anacarium culture, like Vietnam, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, the Philippines. These are the leading countries in the cultivation and production of cashews.
How to transplant
Transplant - a lot of stress for any plant with a weak rhizome. The soil should not crumble. The practice of gardeners proves that it is worth replanting any plant only when the root system is completely entwined with an earthen clod. Cashew nut with a central vertical root is not an exception to the rule; a new pot for it needs to be picked 2-3 cm deeper than the previous one.
In countries where cashew grows and Indian walnut exports increase every year, the average minimum temperature in winter is + 25 °. Anacardium does not know what frost is, and is unlikely to acclimatize with a large temperature difference. Thus, a light nut business in our climatic conditions is impossible.
Tropical cashew tree tolerates drought and does not know harsh winters
It is good that the light of the wedge did not converge on an exotic tree from Brazil. Nature has less capricious cultures for our climate. Harsh winters in the open field is ready to endure the magnificent walnut with valuable and tasty fruits. Hazel is even more resistant to frost.
There are several varieties of hazelnuts, bred specifically for cultivation. If you pay attention to the bush no less than an exotic tree in a pot, a bountiful harvest of round nuts will be provided every September.
The cashew nut came to us from South America, its homeland is the sultry Brazil, which gave us amazing football, colorful carnivals and delicious delicious cashew nuts. Due to the content of a huge amount of useful substances, many scientists call it a product of the future. Later the tropical fruit was cultivated in India, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and other hot countries. Also known as "Akazhu" or "Western Anacardium."
The cashew tree is very beautiful, with a lush crown, the branches close closely to the ground, grows quite quickly and reaches a height of 10–30 m. It is also beautifully ordered during the flowering period, which falls on the spring or early summer months. Yellow-pink pyatilepestkovye flowers are collected in tender buds adorning the tree.
Here we are closer to the most important thing - where are the apples here, if we are talking about cashew nuts? Yes, despite the fact that on the top of this very apple the nut itself is located in a hard shell. Perhaps it is the only nut in the world that prefers to ripen outside the fruit, rather than inside. Without the help of a specialist, it is dangerous to get the cashew nut from the shell, because between it and the walnut shell there is a cardol, a toxic and dangerous toxic substance that causes a serious skin burn. People who peel nuts of this substance, work necessarily in gloves using special equipment for cracking the shell.
Useful properties of cashews
What will now be said about the benefits of cashew is a scanty share of all properties that positively affect the state of health. This should be read separately in our article: "The benefits of cashews." Nevertheless - in short.
100 g of cashew apple contains more than 500% of the minimum daily requirement of vitamin C, necessary for a person. It is a storehouse of trace elements that have a healing effect on the body.
Cashew nut is rich in zinc, potassium, phosphorus, iron, contains a large amount of proteins and carbohydrates, vitamin A, B1, B2 and many others.
Not so long ago, Canadian scientists have made a revolutionary discovery - it turns out drugs that are based on an extract of cashew nut seeds will help to cure such a serious illness as diabetes. And not only cured. It is proved that eating cashew nuts protects against the development of the disease, prevents it.
And cashew and apple
The peculiarity of cashew fruits is that they consist of two parts: a large swollen pedicle, a cashew apple, and the fruit itself, a cashew nut. An apple up to 10 cm in size is covered with a yellow, orange or red skin and has a pear shape. The flesh is very juicy, with a sweet-sour taste and a pleasant aroma, slightly astringent.
The ripened fruits of cashews quickly fall off and deteriorate; therefore, they should be eaten immediately.
The second part of the fruit is a nut about 3 cm long and in the form of a comma.
Covered with a hard shell, which, as it ripens, changes color from green to greenish brown.
Between the upper shell and the nut itself, there is another shell, poisonous due to the presence of burn oil in it. Therefore, experienced, specially trained people hand-cut the cashews.
However, you should not be afraid of poisoning with nuts, because before eating nuts pass obligatory special roasting, in which poisonous oil completely evaporates.
Cashew nuts - one of the most delicious, oily and tender, slightly sweet in taste. They contain a huge amount of nutrients: starch, fats, proteins, carbohydrates, natural sugars, dietary fiber. In addition, nuts are rich in B vitamins, vitamins PP and E, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, sodium, selenium, zinc. The undoubted advantage of cashews is that they contain omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids.
By the way! Japanese scientists have found that cashew nuts contain a substance that can fight off harmful bacteria that destroy tooth enamel. For centuries, African healers have used chopped cashew nuts to treat gum disease and relieve toothache.
How and where does cashew grow?
Cashew loves a humid and warm climatetherefore, some have seen how this tree grows only in the photo. However, for Brazil, its homeland, it is considered normal. It was first discovered in the east of Amazonia (the modern part of Brazil).
Grown in all tropical countries. India and Vietnam are considered its largest producers. Therefore, you can often find the name "Indian nut". Also, the plant is common in Africa, Iran and Azerbaijan.
A total of plantations are located in 32 countries. Its production is growing steadily. Only from 1965 to 2009 it increased 8.5 times around the world.
Conditions for home growing
Hack, as they call cashews, is a moisture-loving plant and tolerates high temperatures. Flowering occurs in spring and summer. The fruits ripen in two or three months. Propagated by seed plant.
Therefore, before planting it should be germinated in a pot. To do this, you need to soak the seeds in water for two days. But be careful, because they are poisonous and the water from which you get them, can cause irritation on your hands.Then they need to be planted in small pots up to 2 liters. Sprouts appear during the first month after planting. It is also important the abundance of light and carbon dioxide. But this applies to any exotic plants.
The tropical climate is an ideal habitat for hacking. Our temperate climate is not at all suitable for its cultivation, as the exotic plant will simply die at a temperature of even + 5 ° C. You need a very large greenhouse if you want to grow cashews.
The fact is that the tree is growing rapidly. And the humidity of the air, which is necessary for the normal development of the fruit is at least 95%.
But do not forget that excessive moisture can harm other plants. After all, mold or other fungi can appear. Therefore, reduce this figure with a high temperature.
For example, in the morning you created the desired level of humidity in the greenhouse (given that you have other exotic plants) and then, when a small haze is formed, turn off the air humidifier. Until the evening everything is dry and in the morning you repeat the procedure again. The average temperature in which cashews should grow is 30-32 ° C. However, this temperature is necessary for any tropical plant.
It is grown indoors and requires loamy soil that will hold the soil for a long time in the roots of the tree. Although in the early stages, when only the cultivation of seeds, the soil is light, use. Chernozem is also suitable for wood.
Application and useful properties
Having understood what a "cashew" in breeding, you need to understand how to continue to use its fruits. Its fruit is used completely: from the "apple" to the very nut. When you harvest, the inshell nut must be separated from the stalk, dried in the sun, and then fry and shelled.
But you can use the "cashew apple". This amazing receptacle is used in cooking for making jelly and even alcohol. The shell itself can be used in the manufacture of automotive brake pads.
As for the beneficial properties, cashew nuts - a storehouse of trace elements. The energy value of the nut per 100 g is equal to 554 kcal (2314 kJ). Protein contains less than fat. Rich in sugar (5.91 g / 100 g). Contains a lot of phosphorus and potassium.
Cashew, though useful, but also very picky plant. If you like to experiment, then the tree is for you. But for beginners, gardeners will be hard to cope with all the features of cultivation. Remember that this tropical plant requires close attention and will not take root in the open field.
How the fruit grows
A cashew tree is an evergreen with a thick spreading crown and a thick squat trunk. It has broad oval-shaped leaves that look like plastic. The height of cultivated plants usually does not exceed 14−15 meters.
The tree blooms in small greenish-pink flowers, which are collected in inflorescences resembling panicles. Flowering continues for several weeks, as the flowers bloom not immediately, but in turn. Then fruits appear, each containing one cashew nut.
Cashew fruits look like shiny pears or bell peppers. At their lower ends are the nuts themselves, covered with a thick brown shell.
Cashew grows fast. To his crown looked neat, you need to regularly pruning the tree.
With proper care, the plant begins to bear fruit in 2−3 years. To improve the yield, in the fall, you need to cut the tree, leaving only the skeletal branches and trunk.
Features of the plant
In botany, the cashew tree belongs to the sumach family. Its height reaches thirteen meters. In optimal tropical conditions, this value may even exceed thirty meters. The tree is characterized by a dense and dense crown, whose width reaches twelve meters. The leaves are large, shaped like an egg with thick veins. During flowering, the plant throws out delicate green flowers that have five sharp petals.
The fruit of the plant is cashew apple. They are unusual because they look like a pear, to which a small nut was attached to the bottom.
The stem has a pleasant structure. The pulp is to taste sour with a slight astringent effect. People celebrate her incredible juiciness. Inside the fruit contains a large number of seeds. The flesh is edible. However, in our country it can not be found on sale, because it deteriorates very quickly and cannot be transported. On average, from one plantation of cashews it is possible to collect more than twenty tons of unusual apples for an ordinary person per year. The local population uses them to make delicious jelly, compote, juice, or they are served raw. It even produces some special alcoholic beverages.
A cashew fruit, a nut, is suspended below the stalk. It should be noted that only one nut leaves each apple, which is topped with a special protective sheath. It has a greenish color. The main feature is impregnation with phenolic resin. Ближе к плоду находится шелуха, которая внешне напоминает пчелиные соты. Есть можно только ядро. Однако, получить его голыми руками нельзя, поскольку смола может вызвать сильный ожог. Для ликвидации негативного эффекта местное население применяет термическую обработку, удаляет скорлупу и шелуху.