Macadamia Facts

Macadamia Facts
Macadamia is a type of evergreen tree that belongs to the Protea family. There are 4 species of macadamia that originate from Australia, but they can be found in the warm, humid areas around the world today. Macadamia grows on the well-drained, fertile, loose volcanic soils, in the tropical rainforests and areas near the streams. Different species of macadamia easily hybridize in the wild, which leads to reduction of the number of genetically pure plants. People cultivate macadamia as a source of food and in ornamental purposes. Hawaii, Australia and South Africa are the greatest manufacturers of macadamia in the world.
Interesting Macadamia Facts:
Macadamia produces one or more stems that can reach 30 to 40 feet in height. Tree develops crown of the same size.
Macadamia has dark brown or reddish bark that is rough on the surface.
Macadamia produces oval, lanceolate or elliptical leaves. 3 to 6 leaves are arranged in whorls. Young leaves are toothed on the edges. Mature leaves can be covered with spines. Leaves are green colored and glossy.
Macadamia produces flowers arranged in long, narrow, hanging clusters (racemes) which grow from the axils of leaves. Flowers have creamy white tepals (petals and sepals of the same color and shape) and they contain both types of reproductive organs (perfect flowers).
Macadamia blooms early in the spring. Flowers attract bees, responsible for the pollination of this plant. Macadamia is also able to perform self-pollination.
Fruit of macadamia is spherical nut with creamy-white kernel and hard brown shell on the surface. When nuts reach maturity (usually during the autumn), they easily drop from the tree.
Macadamia starts to produce fruit usually 8 to 12 years after planting. Each tree is able to produce 30 to 50 pounds of nuts per year.
Macadamia propagates via seed, grafting, soft wood cuttings and budding.
Macadamia is rich source of dietary fibers, vitamin B6, minerals such as potassium, calcium and phosphorus and oils (each nut contains around 80% of oil).
Two species of macadamia produce edible nuts that can be consumed raw. More commonly, macadamia nuts are thermally processed and consumed as snack or ingredient of fruit salads, cakes and other desserts.
Like many other species of nuts, macadamia can induce strong allergic reaction in sensitive individuals.
Low quantities of cyanogenic glycosides in the macadamia nuts can induce weakness and limb paralysis in dogs. Symptoms of intoxication can last 12 hours.
Hyacinth macaw (type of parrot) is one of the rare animals that is able to break the hard shell of macadamia nut and to extract nutritious kernel.
Oils obtained from macadamia nuts have application in the cosmetic industry for the manufacture of the anti-aging creams.
Macadamia can produce fruit 40 to 60 years and survive more than 100 years in the wild.

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