Macadamia, or Australian Walnut
The Australian Walnut tree, known as macadamia, grows in the subtropical regions of Australia, with mild, humid winters and hot summers. Macadamia nuts are loved, appreciated and considered a delicacy all over the world, and the complexity of manual harvesting has made macadamia the most expensive nut in the world.
Macadamia was first described by the German botanist Ferdinand von Müller, and named after him by the Australian chemist John Macadam. Prior to this, the nut was called differently: mullimbimbi, boomer, kindal. Currently, all over the world, the name "Macadamia" has been assigned to the plant and its fruits.
- Description of Macadamia
- Types of Macadamia
- Macadamia growing conditions
- Propagation of macadamia
Description of Macadamia
Macadamia (Macadamia), or Australian nut, or Kindal - a genus of plants of the Proteaceae family (Proteaceae).
Cultivated varieties of macadamia grow 10-15 meters in height with a wide spread crown. This deciduous tree produces rich, fatty seeds encased in hard peels. Seeds called macadamia nuts are edible. Macadamia nuts have a creamy, slightly sweet taste and delicate texture. Nuts usually ripen between March and September, but sometimes fruiting occurs year round.
Natural pollinators of macadamia are bees, which not only perfectly cope with this task, but also make fragrant honey from pollen and nectar.
Macadamia flowers are small, whitish-cream or pinkish, they bloom on a long drooping inflorescence resembling an ear or ear. From them comes a gentle sweet aroma.
Nuts of a plant of almost perfect spherical shape, usually 1.5-2 cm in diameter, are covered with a leathery bivalve shell of a greenish-brown color, hard, with a kernel that is poorly separated from the shell.
Types of Macadamia
There are nine species of macadamia, five of which grow only in Australia. Three species of them are cultivated: Macadamia integrifolia, Macadamia ternifolia, and Macadamia tetraphylla. And only two species - Macadamia integrifolia and Macadamia tetraphylla - can be eaten raw.
Macadamia plantations are in Australia, California, Brazil, South Africa, and Hawaii.
Macadamia growing conditions
The ideal climate for growing macadamia is the climate of the subtropics, with mild (no frost) winters, with a rainfall of 200-250 cm per year. Trees can be grown in areas with lower rainfall, but will require additional irrigation.
These exotic trees can also be grown in the home winter garden, where the winter temperature does not drop below +3 degrees Celsius.
Macadamia walnut trees do not tolerate a drop in temperature to 0 Celsius, most often they are damaged. Ideal conditions for growth are a temperature range of 20..25 ° C. Macadamia trees prefer places protected from the wind. They need to be planted in sunny areas, although partially shaded is also suitable.
Macadamia prefers rocky or sandy soil, but grow on light clay soil, where there is sufficient drainage. The pH (acidity) range of the soil is between 5.5 and 6.5.
When planting a macadamia tree, you need to dig a hole two times wider and deeper than the size of the root system. When planting a tree in the hole, you need to remember that you can not deepen the root neck of the plant below the soil level.
Propagation of macadamia
Macadamia is propagated by seed and grafting. Seeds germinate at a temperature of +25 ° C, and the trees begin to bear fruit in 8-12 years.
For commercial purposes, trees propagate by grafting, as they begin to bear fruit six to seven years after planting. An adult macadamia tree produces about 100 kg of nuts per year for 40-50 years.