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Nut Photo: Brazilian Nut (Brazil Nut)

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Brazilian Nut (Brazil Nut)

The Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) is a South American tree in the family Lecythidaceae, and also the name of the tree's commercially harvested edible seed.

The Brazil nut tree is the only species in the monotypic type genus Bertholletia. It is native to the Guianas, Venezuela, Brazil, eastern Colombia, eastern Peru and eastern Bolivia. It occurs as scattered trees in large forests on the banks of the Amazon, Rio Negro, Tapajós, and the Orinoco. The genus is named after the French chemist Claude Louis Berthollet.

The Brazil nut is a large tree, reaching 30–45 metres (100–150 ft) tall and 1–2 metres (3–6.5 ft) trunk diameter, among the largest of trees in the Amazon Rainforests. It may live for 500 years or more, and according to some authorities often reaches an age of 1,000 years. The stem is straight and commonly unbranched for well over half the tree's height, with a large emergent crown of long branches above the surrounding canopy of other trees.

The bark is grayish and smooth. The leaves are dry-season deciduous, alternate, simple, entire or crenate, oblong, 20–35 centimetre long and 10–15 centimetres broad. The flowers are small, greenish-white, in panicles 5–10 centimetres long; each flower has a two-parted, deciduous calyx, six unequal cream-colored petals, and numerous stamens united into a broad, hood-shaped mass.

Around 20,000 tons of Brazil nuts are harvested each year, of which Bolivia accounts for about 50%, Brazil 40% and Peru 10% (2000 estimates).In 1980, annual production was around 40,000 tons per year from Brazil alone, and in 1970 Brazil harvested a reported 104,487 tons of nuts.

(Source: Wikipedia.org)

 

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