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Common Name: Queensland Nut
Cultivated tree (and dog!)
Photograph by: Deirdre
Macadamia tetraphylla is a Evergreen Tree up to 10.00 metres tall.
It has edible uses.
Australia - New South Wales, Queensland.
In or near rainforests[
Plants grow best in rich moist but well-drained soils and a position in full sun[
]. They require copious summer watering in their early stages[
]. Mature plants need at least 1250mm of rainfall equally distributed throughout the year and a mild frost-free climate[
]. Trees require a sheltered position and are easily damaged by strong winds[
Plants can be grown in climates cooler than their native habitat, but they are not very hardy in Britain. They produce fruit in Australia when growing at least as far south as Sydney[
]. They can survive slight frosts[
] and have succeeded outdoors in the Scilly Isles[
]. Growth is optimal between temperatures of 20 - 25°c, ceasing when they fall below 10°c or rise above 30°c[
]. Cold weather can result in the loss of the entire crop[
The macadamia nut is cultivated for its edible seed in many tropical and sub-tropical areas[
], there are some named varieties[
]. Plants are slow growing in cultivation, seedlings take 6 - 7 years to produce their first fruit[
]. The trees then produce commercial crops for about 40 - 50 years and can fruit for up to 100 years[
]. Plants are self-fertile but yield better if cross-pollinated[
Pruning is not normally necessary, but is tolerated if carried out in the autumn[
Seed - raw or cooked[
]. Pleasantly flavoured and nutritious[
]. They can be eaten as a dessert nut and can also be ground into a flour and then mixed with cereal flours to enrich the protein content. The shell is very hard, making it difficult to extract the seed[
]. The seed is up to 30mm long and 24mm wide[
The seed contains up to 72% of a high grade oil[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a warm greenhouse[
]. The dehusked seed germinates quickly at 25°c[
]. The seed can also be sown in the spring in a warm greenhouse[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If trying them outdoors, give the plants some protection from the cold for their first few winters.
Cultivars may be grafted.