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Plant of the Month
Water Chestnut, Malabar Chestnut, Guiana Chestnut, or Provision Tree is a deciduous tree native to Central America. Of the family Bombacaceae it is a large water-loving mid-sized tree that produces large multiple-seeded oblong fruit. The seeds are edible raw but normally roasted, tasting somewhat like chestnuts. The young leaves and flowers are cooked and used as a vegetable. Also known as Pachira aquatica, these trees will become quite large (to 140' tall and over 8' in diameter at the base). A very unusual tree, excellent for shade.
Common Name: Water Chestnut, Malabar Chestnut, Guiana Chestnut, or Provision Tree
Botanical Name: Pachira aquatica
Plant Type: Deciduous tree
Origin: Central America
Height: To 180'
Rate of Growth: Fast
Salt Tolerance: None
Soil Requirements: Moderately fertile, well-drained soil
Water Requirements: Moderate drought tolerance, water sparingly when not actively growing otherwise water freely
Nutritional Requirements: Medium, balanced liquid fertilizer every 6-8 weeks during active growth
Light Requirements: Full sun
Leaves: Dark green to 12" long, oblong
Flowers: Leaves sometimes hide the flowers which are large and ornamental.
Fruits: Woody oblong pods
Pests or diseases: None
Uses: Specimen plant
Bad Habits: None
Cost: $$$ -- Rare
Propagation: Seeds, cuttings
Sources: Flowering Trees of Florida
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Plants of the Month Index
Last updated 06/03/08