- Scientific name: Macadamia integrifolia
- Family: Proteaceae (protea)
Tree up to 20m tall. Leaves up to 14cm long, in whorls of three, with serrated margin when young. Collections of flowers (inflorescences) hanging racemes up to 30cm long and creamy white in colour. Fruits spherical to 3.5cm in diameter, containing hard brown seeds. Pollinated by bees.
Macadamia nuts, considered by some to be most delicious nuts in the world, are shaped like shelled hazelnuts but are more oily. The nut oil is rich in palmitoleic acid, also found in young people’s skin. It is now being examined for use in creams intended to improve the appearance of ageing skin.
Where it grows
Native to Australia (Queensland and New South Wales). Cultivated in the USA (including Hawaii), West Indies and South Africa. Grows in alluvial silts and fertile volcanic soils in upland tropical and subtropical zones.
The macadamia is listed as 'vulnerable' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
- United States Department of Agriculture
- Australian Government Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation
- Alluvial: soil that is loose, unconsolidated and at some point has been moved or eroded by fresh water.
- Raceme: a flowering structure where the individual flowers are clearly stalked, the newest and last to open being at the apex.