The cashew apple is not a true fruit, but the swollen stalk to which the cashew nut is attached. Cashew apples are vitamin-C rich and eaten fresh or juiced in growing areas. The cashew nut is processed and sold worldwide. The apple is often bright red, orange, or yellow in color.
A fast-growing, medium sized tree to 40ft. Flowers are small and pink, and are usually borne during early summer. Fruits ripen about three months later. The cashew can be kept to a small size, and will fruit in a container.
Cashew trees are tropical and will not grow in areas that have frost. Temperatures below 32F, even for brief periods, may cause several wood and leaf burn.
Cashew's generally prefer ample water, but too much rainfall and/or very high humidity may retard growth, trees seem to do better in slightly drier tropical climates. They are quite drought tolerant.
Almost exclusively by seed. Budding and air-layering also sometimes used.
Fruit is eaten fresh, nut is roasted and eaten. Unroasted nuts and oil are toxic.
Native to northeastern Brazil, now grown in much of tropical America and Africa.