Cashews, or cashew, or anakardium west (Anacardium occidentale) is originally from Brazil, belongs to the family anakardievyh. It is very decorative, spreading, fast growing tree with low-lying branches and dense foliage, reaching a height of 7-12 m nature. Cashew leaves leathery, oval-shaped, 10-20 cm long and 5-10 cm wide.
Small fragrant flowers bloom in spring or early summer. Five-cashew flowers, yellow and pink; collected in small panicles 10-20 cm long. On one panicle can coexist flowers of three types: male, female and bisexual. Number of cashew fruit on the tree depends on the number of bisexual flowers, which do not require pollination. The fruits ripen in three months after flowering.
The fruit of the cashew is very unusual in appearance, and is as it were, of two parts: a large swollen pedicel (edible, called the cashew apple or apple-kazhu) and, in fact, the "real" fruit - cashew as a small curved drupes with the seed. When ripe, the fruits fall off.
Apples-kazhu need to eat immediately after falling off because they are highly perishable. Cashew apple, pear-shaped (7-10 cm long and about 5 cm in diameter), covered with a waxy cuticle - yellow, orange or red. The flesh of his yellow, fibrous, astringent, very juicy and has a sweet-sour taste and aroma. Cashew apples are eaten fresh, but from their juice make jelly, soft drinks and wine. It is an excellent source of vitamin C (100 g pulp contains more than 500% of the minimum daily requirement of the person) and trace elements.
Cashew about 3 cm long, has a bent shape, covered with a hard shell poisonous. In the process of maturation of walnut color changes from green to greenish-gray or greenish-brown. Cashew shell contains a caustic oil, so be sure nuts are roasted in a special way to complete evaporation of oil (even a small amount of oil can cause poisoning). After roasting and peeling the seeds are edible. Cashew seeds are considered one of the most gourmet kinds of nuts, they contain a lot of oil and protein.
Usually propagated by seeds cashew. They are soaked for two days in the water, changing it twice a day (at the same time, avoid direct contact with the skin, it can cause severe irritation). The seeds are then planted in containers according to one volume of 1-2 liters. Cashew seedlings appear after 2-3 weeks. Seedlings develop very quickly, and the plant begins to bear fruit within two years after planting.
Cashew prefers full sun or partial shade an easy. Tree grows well and bears fruit in a container with a light, well-drained soil mix.
To make the cashew sapling of a certain size and beautiful shape is necessary to conduct its pruning. The peculiarity of this tree is that it tends to grow erratically, producing side shoots immediately after the appearance of the next sheet. Therefore, pruning is particularly relevant for cashew in the first years after planting, when it is necessary to form a trunk and main boughs.
Like most tropical plants, cashew responds well to daily spraying. The plant can withstand a small soil too dry. Cashew tree is unpretentious, requires minimal maintenance.
Cashew is cultivated in the tropics, all parts of this useful plant are used: apples-kazhu used as fruit, seeds are used and exported as valuable nuts; shell seeds produced medicated oil-kazhu (kardoyl); wood is resistant to rot and goes to the production of a variety of products, from the trunks of old trees extracted gum.