Synonyms for Macadamia: Australian Nut, Queensland Nut, Bush Nut, Baphal Nut
Scientific Name: Macadamia ternifolia FvMUELL
Family: Proteaceae (Protea Family)
Under optimal conditions – subtropical, humid climate – the macadamia tree grows to a height of up to 15 metres. The majestic evergreen, sclerophyllous tree can reach an age of more than 50 years and only begins to bear nuts in the course of time. Harvesting first becomes worthwhile when the tree is seven years old; a 15-year-old tree yields an impressive 50 kilograms of unshelled nuts per tree and year. The harvesting season is from April to September. The sought-after macadamia nuts are so-called stone fruits or drupes. They hang from the tree in long clusters resembling bunches of grapes. The spherical, edible nut, which is about two to three centimetres in diameter, is enclosed in an extremely hard, brown shell which, as with walnuts, is itself encased in a thick green protective layer. The nuts fall to the ground when they are ripe. The macadamia tree bears white, hanging panicles of flowers, ripening fruits and ripe fruits all at the same time – a typical characteristic of tropical trees.