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Pachira aquatica

Pronunciation: pak-EYE-ruh a-KWA-tee-kuh
Family: Bombacaceae
Synonym: Bombax glabrum, Bombax macrocarpum, Pachira macrocarpa
Common Name: Water Chestnut, Guiana Chestnut, Malabar Chestnut, Money Tree, Saba Nut
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 60 ft (18.2 m)
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • early summer
Bloom Description: The flowers emerge from 14 in (35.6 cm) long buds. They are usually almost hidden by the dense foliage, which stays on the tree during the bloom period, unlike that of similar Bombax and Chorisia species. The cream colored petals of the large flowers droop and disappear to show off dramatic clusters of 3-4 in (7.6-10 cm) crimson-tipped, off-white stamens. They are followed by football shaped woody pods which may reach 12 in (30.5 cm) in length and 5 in (12.7 cm)inches in diameter. Tightly packed nuts within the pod enlarge until about a 0.5 in (1.3 cm) in diameter and the pod bursts open.
Soil Type: Very moist, great for ponds and bogs, acidic
Propagation: Plants are easily started from seed and will root from cuttings.
Native to: Central America and northern South America. It is cultivated in many tropical regions, including Hawaii and Southern California. In the wild, Pachira
Winter Sowing Zones: None
Notes for Identification:

Source: Floridata - Guiana chestnut is grown both for tropical effect and for its edible nuts. It can also be potted up as a houseplant. The nuts taste sort of like peanuts. They are harvested when the seed pods burst and eaten raw, roasted, or fried. They also can be ground into a flour for baking bread. The young leaves and flowers may be cooked and used as a vegetable.

If you live in a flood prone tropical area where "well drained soil" is a scarce commodity, Guiana chestnut is an interesting food producing tree that won't take up space on your precious high ground. Plant it along the edge of a pond or swamp and watch it grow happily in standing water

USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
  • 180 to 210 days ZONE 11
  • Greater then 210 ZONE 12
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 0
Located in: Trees, Shrubs
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