Caryocar nuciferum (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Caryocar nuciferum L.

Family: Caryocaraceae

Vernacular names

  • Souari-nut tree, butter-nut tree (En)
  • Noisette indienne, arbre de beurre (Fr).


Originating from the northern parts of South America, cultivated there and occasionally elsewhere.


The seeds are eaten roasted and said to be one of the best nuts of the tropics. The fruit also contains an edible oil and the wood is appreciated to make boats.


  • Handsome lofty tree, up to 35 m tall, buttressed.
  • Fruit a globose large drupaceous berry, containing 1-4 warty stones with the seeds; mesocarp is oily.

The related C. villosum (Aublet) Pers., the piquia tree, was cultivated on a large scale for its oil in Peninsular Malaysia before World War II. Both species are lowland rain forest trees and interesting for their edible seed, oil and valuable timber.

Selected sources

  • Burkill, I.H., 1966. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. 2nd ed. 2 Volumes. Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 2444 pp.
  • Mansfeld, R. & Schultze Motel, J., 1986. Verzeichnis landwirtschaftlicher und gärtnerischer Kuturpflanzen. 2nd ed. 4 Volumes. Springer Verlag, Berlin. 1998 pp.


P.C.M. Jansen, J. Jukema, L.P.A. Oyen, T.G. van Lingen