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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.

Pachira aquatica -- Water ChestnutPachira Seed Pod

Plant Facts:

Common Name:  Water Chestnut, Malabar Chestnut, Guiana Chestnut, or Provision Tree

Botanical Name:  Pachira aquatica

Family:  Bombacaceae

Plant Type:  Deciduous tree

Origin: Central America

Zones: 10-11

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

Form:  Tree

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 ftf.gif (16881 bytes)

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Last updated 06/03/08