Shrubby tree grown for its almond-sized fruits containing large seeds which contain a highly esteemed oil. The oil is used much like olive oil, and has a similar fat content to olive oil.
Shrubby, thorny tree growing to 30ft, but often remaining much smaller. In its natural range, goats and foraging animals eat the fruits, depositing the hard-shelled seeds in their waste. Seeds are then collected, and later pressed to obtain the valuable argan oil (which is sold for up to 10 times the price of olive oil).
Hardy to the 20's.
The argan tree is highly tolerant of drought, high heat, and poor soil conditions. Grow in full sun.
Argan seeds can be slow and difficult to germinate. Due to their hard seed coat, soaking the seeds prior to planting is essential. Soak in room temperature to warm (90-100F) water for 2-4 days prior to planting. Some sources have suggested good results sprouting the seeds in moist towels kept at warm room temperature. Or, plant seeds in small containers, in well-drained, moist soil at 1" deep. Keep soil regularly watered, though do not over water to the point where soil is dripping wet. Seeds can take several weeks to a few months to sprout.
Seeds are pressed to obtain argan oil, an expensive and highly useful cooking oil--popular in Morocco, and used much like olive oil. When cooking with the oil, it is said to impart a subtle nutty flavor to foods.
Native to southwestern Morocco.
Satin Leaf Tree
|Chrysophyllum soboliferum (Pradosia brevipes)|
|Manilkara bidentata, Mimusops balata
|Pouteria obovata (Lucuma obovata)
Giant Miracle Fruit