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Semecarpus australiensis

Semecarpus australiensis
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Semecarpus
S. australiensis
Binomial name
Semecarpus australiensis

Semecarpus australiensis, the Australian cashew nut, is a species of Australian trees that grow naturally in monsoon forests (rainforests with deciduous trees) or rainforests, from sea level to 250 m, often near the sea. It has been found in NT, Cape York, and Queensland wet tropics, Australia, Torres Strait Islands, New Guinea, New Britain, Aru Islands and additional Pacific Islands.[1] It is related to the cashew (Anacardium occidentale).

The leaves are prominently veined, large, dark green on the upper surface, and paler underneath. Small cream-coloured flowers are followed by unusual fruits that have the seeds on the outside contained in a leathery pod attached to an orange or red fruit-like fleshy base.[2]


Because of the extremely irritating sap, Aboriginal Australians exercise great care in preparing the seeds, including handling the fruit with hands coated in clay for skin protection. The seeds are roasted in the fire before eating, and taste similar to A. occidentale cashews.


  1. ^ Hyland, B. P. M.; Whiffin, T.; Zich, F. A.; et al. (December 2010). "Factsheet – Semecarpus australiensis". Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants. Edition 6.1, online version [RFK 6.1]. Cairns, Australia: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), through its Division of Plant Industry; the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research; the Australian Tropical Herbarium, James Cook University. Retrieved 13 March 2013.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  2. ^ Low, T. (1991). Wild Food Plants of Australia. ISBN 0-207-16930-6.

External links