Brazil Nut

Despite its name, the world’s largest producer and exporter of “brazil nuts” is Bolivia, where they are called chestnuts. Bertholletia excelsa is a tree native to South America, specifically Bolivia, Brazil, southeastern Colombia, Guyana, Peru, east and northeast Argentina and southern Venezuela. The tree that produces the walnut of the same name, is the only species of the genus Bertholletia. It is found as scattered trees or in groups up to 100, on well drained soils in large forests of the Amazon, Negro and Orinoco basins. It is a large tree that reaches between 30 and 50 m. in height. The trunk is 1 to 2 m in diameter. The fruit takes 15 months to mature after pollination of the flowers, reaching between 10 and 15 cm in diameter and 1 to 2 kg in weight, with a woody skin 8 to 12 mm thick. In the interior contains 8 to 24 seeds in the form of a crescent, 4 to 5 cm long. A mature tree can give between 200 and 400 fruits.

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