Characteristics of Cashew Tree (Anacardium occidentale) in the Wild

Anacardium occidentale
Cashew is a tree species from the Anacardiaceae tribe that is native to Brazil and has edible fruit.

The tree is famous for its large, nut-like seed called “Cashews”. Cashews can be processed or dried and fried to make a variety of foods.

Botanically, this plant is not a member of guava (Myrtaceae) or legumes (Fabaceae) at all but is more closely related to mango (Anacardiaceae).

Traditionally Cashew is usually fried as a snack for tea or coffee, while if it is processed in a modern way it can be used to decorate foods such as chocolate and cakes.

The community likes cashew fruit because of its sour, sweet, fresh, and fresh taste. The flavor of the cashew fruit allows it to be developed as a syrup or fermented to obtain alcohol. The fermented products of Cashew can be enjoyed during harvest time and can be distilled into a high alcoholic beverage.


Characteristics of Cashew Leaf

Anacardium occidentale Leaf
Source :

The leaves grow on the tip of a branch. Each leaf has a stem, oval shape with a tapered base and a rounded tip.


Characteristics of Cashew Flower

Anacardium occidentale Flower
Source : Sheila

The flowers appear in a fine-haired flat panicle and are 15-25 cm wide.


Characteristics of Cashew Fruit

Anacardium occidentale Fruit
Source : Chandran07

Cashew fruit is almost oval but bent, dark brown, and 5-6 cm in diameter.

Cashew nuts can be extracted to produce high-quality CNSL (Cashew Nut Shell Liquid) oil which is used in industry and also as an ingredient for preserving wood.


Characteristics of Cashew Tree

Anacardium occidentale Tree
Source : Vogel

Cashew trees grow in medium size up to 8-12 meters in height. Its branches and leaves spread to various sides making it a shady canopy tree.

Cashew tree wood is light brown and is very rarely used, although it can be used. If the binder is injured, it will release a type of sap which gradually hardens in the open air called “gum”. This gum can be used as book adhesive, termite prevention, and adhesive frames or wood.


The young leaves can be eaten raw as a salad.

Old leaves can be processed into drugs to treat skin diseases.

The fruit can be eaten by humans fresh or processed into food or drinks.

The seeds can be fried into a snack or as a food decoration.

All parts of the Cashew tree can be used in traditional medicinal herbs, especially medicines for curing skin diseases, oral cleansers, and laxatives.

The sap of the stem can be used as a wood adhesive and anti-termite.


This tree is easy to cultivate from seedlings. Cashew nuts that are planted will germinate in 5-7 days in slightly damp, sun-exposed soil.


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