Bertholletia excelsa (Lecythidaceae) – Brazil nut seed
Seed from the Kew Millennium Seed Bank collection at Wakehurst, outside London in the UK.
Bertholletia excelsa (Lecythidaceae) – Brazil nut; native to Brazil – large woody fruit with animal-made hole affording a view of an eroded seed. In its natural habitat, the Brazilian rainforest, the mature fruits fall on the ground where agoutis (cat-size brown rodents) are the only animals that are able to gnaw their way through the fruit wall into the seeds. They eat some of the seeds of a fruit and cache the rest for subsequent use. Seeds left in a forgotten cache eventually germinate after 12 to 18 months and give rise to a new Brazil nut tree.
Snippets from the internet: A forest tree, native to northern Brazil and Guiana, that grows 100' tall and has been grown in Hawaii. The fruit is round, woody, 6" long and contains 12-24 nuts per fruit. Almost all of the commercial crop is collected from wild trees
Very good info about the economy etc. of the Brazil nut: http://www.rain-tree.com/brazilnu.htm
- ©Jim Richardson
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