Brazil nut

Brazil nut, common name for the Lecythidaceae, a family of tropical trees. It includes the anchovy pear ( Grias cauliflora ), a West Indian species with edible fruit used for pickles, and several lumber trees of South America, e.g., the cannon-ball tree ( Couroupita guianensis ), some species of Barringtonia, and the Brazil nut ( Bertholletia excelsa ). The latter is found chiefly in Brazil along the Amazon and Orinoco rivers, but extensive groves have also been planted in N Bolivia. The edible Brazil nuts grow clumped together in large, round, woody and extremely hard seed pods the size of a large grapefruit. The meat of the seed (the nut ) is very rich in oil. The Brazil nut family is classified in the division Magnoliophyta , class Magnoliopsida, order Lecythidales.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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