Malabar chestnut

Botanical name:  Pachira aquatica

Crown and root system:  The Malabar chestnut (also called Saba nut) has a small crown and an unusual appearance: a green trunk with a rounded bottom.  It has large palmate leaves that resemble fingers.  In cold winters the leaves will fall off but the tree recovers quickly in the spring.

Description of the fruit:  The Malabar has impressive yellow feather-like flowers, and the fruit look like a large cacao pod. When ripe, the pod opens up to reveal a row of edible nuts.  They look like macadamia nuts and can be eaten fresh, roasted or after being soaked in salt water.  The shell can be easily removed.

Growing regions:  Areas with no frost.  It is recommended that the tree be planted in a place that is out of the wind in order to protect the trunk.

Ripening date:  End of summer – beginning of fall.

Planting in a container:  May be planted in a container.

Recommended planting season:  All year round, except for winter months.

Good to know:
The Malabar nut belongs to the chestnut family.  In Asia the Malabar / Saba is call a “money tree” and is considered to bring economic success.  Because of this, you are liable to find the tree in many businesses as a fruit tree, or as a bonsai tree with a braided trunk.