Anacardium occidentale L., Sp. Pl. (1753)

(Latin for 'from the West')

Acajuba occidentalis (L.) Gaertn.
Anacardium microcarpum Ducke
Anacardium occidentale var. americanum DC.
Anacardium occidentale var. gardneri Engl.
Anacardium occidentale var. indicum DC
Cassuvium pomiferum Lam.
Cassuvium reniforme Blanco
Cassuvium solitarium Stokes

Understorey tree up to 12 m tall and 40 cm dbh. Stipules absent. Leaves alternate, simple, penni-veined. Flowers ca. 22 mm in diameter, red, fragrant, placed in panicles. Fruits (cashew nut) ca. 35 mm long, greyish-brown, drupe placed on yellow-red fleshy swollen stalk.

Originally imported from the Americas and cultivated. Now also found in undisturbed and disturbed forests (gardens) up to 100 m altitude. Often near (or even on) beaches and in keranga forest, but also in mixed dipterocarp forests. Usually on sandy soils.

All parts of the plant contain an irritant skin poison. On heating this substance is destroyed. The nut is edible (cashew nut) after heating (boiling or roasting). The swollen stalk of the fruit can be eaten raw. Various parts of the tree are used as medicine.

Pan-tropical. In Borneo found in Sarawak, Brunei, Sabah, East- and South-Kalimantan.

Local names
Indonesia: Djambu dipa, Djambu maendjit, Jagus, Yagus.