Family: Anacardiaceae

Latin name: Anacardium occidentale

Vernacular name: Cashew, Casho, Marañon

Cashew is cultivated for the ìappleî in this region. The seed serves as a poison, and is split and rubbed on skin to kill fungus. Resin from the trunk is also used a poison. The fruit is high in vitamin C. The juice is drunk in beverages, taken pure to stop diarreah, and mixed in liquor.

Cashew should be planted in uplands, although some specimens manage to stay alive in floods. Cashew can grow in very poor soil. This small to medium-sized tree grows quickly and is interplanted with many species. Fruit production usually drops off after less than a decade, and it is removed from fields. The fruit is fragrant, attracting animals, and especially bats, wasps and bees. The fruit is very fragile and does not keep well, which limits marketing options.

Cashew fruit, with the familiar cashew "nut" at the top.

Cashew fruit, with the familiar cashew "nut" at the top.