Malabar chestnuts grow in a large, woody, football-shaped pod, averaging 5-7 centimeters in diameter and 10-30 centimeters in length. The pod has a rough skin, five-valves, and transforms from green to brown when ripe. The tree is cultivated for its edible nuts, which grow in a large, woody pod. They are said to taste like peanuts, and can be eaten raw, cooked, or ground into flour to make bread. The leaves and flowers are also edible.
Malabar chestnut trees are also known for their large, fragrant, white ornamental flowers and their shiny green bark and palmate leaves. They are delicious peeled and eaten fresh, tasting like raw green peas.
- The five-valved fruit of Malabar chestnut is an ovoid, woody green pod which may reach 4 to 12 inches in length and 2 to 2-1/2 inches in diameter.
- The tightly packed seeds (nuts) inside enlarge until the pod bursts and the seed fall to the ground.
- Pachira aquatica can grow up to 18 meters (60 feet) tall in its natural habitat, although it is usually smaller in cultivation.
- The tree has a thick, woody trunk that is often twisted and braided in cultivation for ornamental purposes.
- The fruits of Pachira aquatica are large, green, and round, resembling a small coconut. They are edible and have a sweet, nutty flavor.
- Great source of antioxidants.
- May aid heart health.
- May lower inflammation.
- Potential anti-tumor properties.
- High in nutrients.
- May improve blood sugar control.