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Plant Informational Database

Argan

Argania spinosa

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.

Seed Availability

Seeds are now available at our seed store.

Description

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).

Hardiness

Hardy to the 20's.

Growing Environment

The argan tree is highly tolerant of drought, high heat, and poor soil conditions. Grow in full sun.

Propagation

By seeds.

Germination Info

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.

Uses

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 Range

Native to southwestern Morocco.

Related Species

Sapotaceae  
Argania spinosa
Argan
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