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Quantity: 04 Seeds



Chinese (pahsi li); English (Brazil nut,para nut,cream nut,butter nut);
French (chatáigne du brésil,noix du pará,noix du brésil);

German : (paranuss,Paranußaum,Brasilnußbaum);

Italian (noce del brasilie);
Japanese : (burajiru nattsu);

Portuguese (castahna-do-brasil,castanha-do pará,castanheira);

Spanish (castaña,canstana do pará,canstana do
brasil,nuez del brasil,castanha-do-maranhao);

Swedish (paranot);

Trade name (Brazil nut)


Although Brazil nuts are technically seeds, not nuts, their brown nut-like casings have led most people to call them nuts. Produced by a South American tree in virgin rain forests, they are an extremely popular food in many Latin American nations, and indeed in the rest of the world having a rich, creamy flavour. In nature, Brazil nuts develop inside a large capsule rather like a coconut, which, if cut open, reveals a number of three-sided nuts.

The Brazil nut tree (Bertholletia excelsa), also known in Brazil as the castanheira-do-Pará (Pará Nut tree) is a beautiful, tall, stately tree native to the Amazon. It can be found in forests along the courses of the great rivers like the Amazon river, the Negro, the Orinoco and the Araguaia, but it is currently threatened with extinction.

Although it is present in all nine Amazonian countries (Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela and French Guyana), nowadays it is only abundant in Bolivia and Suriname.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature classifies the Brazil nut tree as a vulnerable species and in Brazil it is on the Ministry of the Environment’s list of threatened species. The risk of extinction stems mainly from deforestation. In Brazil the big nut trees are felled to build roads and bridges, or cleared to make way for and implant farming settlements that are part of the agrarian reform process and for pastureland to raise cattle.

Roasted, raw or in sweets

In spite of the threat of extinction it faces, the Brazil nut tree continues to offer human beings a delicacy that is appreciated all over the world: the Brazil nut. It can be eaten raw from the kernel, or roasted or in the form of a kind of floury meal. It is delicious in sweets and ice-cream and goes very well with chocolate too.

Because it is a rich source of proteins carbohydrates and fats, it is widely consumed by the Amazonian population. The oil extracted from it is used in manufactured products and cosmetics and the nut is an important source of income for many Amazonian communities.

Did you know that...
In spite of being widely known as the Brazil nut tree the world’s largest exporter of nuts is actually Bolivia. That is because the population of trees has diminished considerably in Brazil and, furthermore, the system of nut production is not very organised.

What the trees look like

Brazil nut trees commonly grow to a heights of over 30 metres with trunks of 1 to 2 metres in diameter. It is one of the tallest trees in the Amazon and some individuals have been recorded with heights of 50 metres and five metres diameter.

The trunk goes straight up and the branches are all concentrated near the top. The bark is greyish and the leaves that it spreads out over and above the forest canopy are from 20 to 35 cm long.

Brazil nut trees require an untouched environment to complete their reproductive cycles. Their flowers are only pollinated by certain species of insects which are attracted by the orchids that are associated to the trees. If the orchids or the insect species die then the nut trees bear no fruit.

The fruit itself takes over a year to ripen. It is about the size of a coconut and may weigh up to 2 Kg. The shell of the fruit is extremely hard and inside it holds from 8 to 24 seeds which are the valuable nuts.


Food: Dry nuts contain 63-69% oil, 14-17% protein and 4% fibre, so they are a good source of calories and protein.
Kernels are eaten raw, toasted or used in confectionery, often as a substitute for other nuts or grated coconut.

Fodder: The oil in the nut is expressed and used as livestock feed.
Fuel: Dried fruit capsules are useful as fuel; the nut, which has an elevated oil content of 63-69%, burns with acandlelike flame when lit.

Fibre: The bark has been used in remote regions for fibre production.


Timber: B. excelsa is a source of fine timber, and the durable wood is sought by boat builders. Fruit pericarps aresometimes used to make carvings.

Medicine: Folk medicine for liver problems is obtained from the bark of the tree.

Other products: Empty fruit capsules are used to carry small, smoky fires to discourage black flies (Simulium spp.) from attacking people working in the field during the rainy season. Open capsules are sometimes used to collect latex from rubber trees.


These seeds have already been thoroughly cleaned and should be sown into a well-drained, sandy compost at any time of the year, and covered thinly with sand or grit and kept moist. Keep at between 20-25 degrees C. Seeds sometimes germinate within 4 to 6 weeks although some may take very much longer so please be patient. Plant out in the open ground in warmer countries or in a large container elsewhere.

Brazil nut, butter nut (Bertholletia excelsa) 04 seeds

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