Scientific Name – Pachira aquatica Aubl.
Synonim – Pachira grandiflora Tuss., Pachira macrocarpa Walp., Bombex aquaticum Schum.
Common name(s) – provision tree, Guiana Chestnut, Saba Nut, Shaving Brush Tree (US), mulungu (Brazilia), paineira de Cuba (Brazilia si Rio di Janeiro), Castanha das Guianas (Brazilia), castano (Venezuela), pachira (Republica Dominicana), piton (Mexic), zapoton (Columbia), wild cocoa (Guyana).
Distribution and Habitat – growing naturally along rivers and other bodies of water, from sea level to 1300 m altitude, at temperatures of 24 ̊C.
Description – small tree to 10 m high; trunk 25-60 cm in diameter, short, tortuous, bark lightly fissured, thick, with strong characteristic smell. Leaves alternate, compound; stipules lanceolate; petiole up to 24 cm long; leaflets 4-6, elliptic-lanceolate 5-28 x 2.5-14.5 cm, apex acuminate to rounded, base cuneate, margins entire or undulating, strongly coriaceous, glabrous. Flowers bisexual, solitary or 2-3, terminal; pedicels 1.5-3 cm long. Calyx entire, tubular, greenish-brown, 15-20 mm long; petals 5, spatulate to linear, yellowish or greenish, to 30 cm long, margins strongly incurved at anthesis; stamens 180-260; filaments 8-15 cm long, anthers 3-4 mm long, reddish; ovary conical, 5 mm long, 5-locular, ovules numerous. Flowering in March-April. Fruit oblong-ellipsoid capsule, 20-30 cm long, 10-12 cm diameter. Seeds 10-25 per capsule, 3 cm diameter. 2n = 72
Growth rate – fast. Can flower the first time at 3-4 years, and fruits when are about 4 years.
Tolerances – resistant to drought and flooding; it can tolerate brief exposure to -2 ̊C.
Requirements – grows well in full sun or partial shade.
Management – regular watering and fertilization.
Propagation – by seeds. Germination at 8-11 days, fast growth and attain 60 cm in 2 months. After 25 days germination is 52 percent.
Pest and Diseases – Dryoctenis scrupulosas, Steirastoma depressum.
Garden Partners – Symphonia globulifera, Virola surinamensis, Pterocarpus officinalis, Mora excelsa, Tabebuia aquatilis.
Properties and Uses – seeds are edible, raw or cooked.
Pachira aquatica is used in hedges, it is an excellent ornamental species.
J. Janick, R. E. Paull – The Encyclopedia of Fruit and Nuts – CABI, 2008
Klaus Kubitzki, Clemens Bayer – Flowering Plants – Springer, 2002
Nico Vermeulen – Encyclopedia of House Plants – Routledge, 1999
Thomas Croat – Flora of Barro Colorado Island - Stanford University Press, 1978
Trees and shrubs
Davidia involucrata var. involucrata
Arbore pana la 20 m inaltime; coroana la inceput conica apoi devine neregulata, ramuri orizontale. Scoarta gri-maronie. Mugurele terminal are forma ovoida, 6-7 mm lungime, acuminat, rosu-brun inchis. Mugurii laterali 6-8 mm lungime.
Deciduu or semi-evergreen shrub, prostrat, 50-150 cm tall and 1.2-1.8 m wide, often branched, with horizontal branches. Buds are pink opening spring. Suborbiculare or elliptical leaves, glossy dark green. The flowers are pink, small, almost Sesi, 1-2, anther white blooms in May-June, attracting bees.
Pimenta racemosa (Mill.) JWMoore
Shrub or small tree, 7.5-15 m high; ritidom thin, scaly, producing a scaly trunk. Leaves pungent rum, obovata to elliptic, 3-15 x 1.2-7.5 cm, acute to round at the narrow top, coriacee.
Teline nervosa - endemic of the Canary Islands, rape increases from 650 to 700 m altitude, in association with Aeonium undulatum, Carlina salicifolia, Crambe pritzelii, Hypericum canariensis, Olea europaea subsp. cerasiformis, Sonchus leptocephalus.
Ilex perado - small tree, port pyramidal, evergreen. Originally from the Canary Islands, dense forests grow in the Aqua Garcia, in association with Apollonias barbujana, Arbutus canariensis, Laurus Azores, Myrsine canariensis, Ocotal foetens, Persea indica, Prunus Lusitania subsp. hixa, Visna mocanera.
Primula cousin - cuckoo boot
Primula cousin - Herbaceous perennial with cylindrical rhizome, native to Europe and Asia, grows through meadows, sunny pastures, edges of woods, from hills to the alpine region.
Acanthus mollis - Bear's Breeches
Native of the Mediterranean area, grows in gardens like ornamentals. Flower can be over 1.8 m tall, the purple-pink bracts contrasting with the white flowers. Prefer shelter and deep, moist soil.
Centaurea uniflora subsp. nervosa
Centaurea uniflora subsp. nervosa - originally from Northern Apennines, the Alps, south-eastern Carpathians and the Balkans. Hemicriptofita species, grows on dry meadows and rocky, limestone, from 1100 up to 2600 m altitude.