A family of trees in which the leaves are simple
and crowded at the twig tips, and rarely have stipules
. The flowers are hermaphrodite and sometimes cauliflorous
. There are 4–6 sepals
and many stamens
, fused at the base and sometimes strongly one-sided in development. The ovary is inferior
, and fused to the receptacle
. The flowers are frequently nocturnal and bat-pollinated. The fruit is a berry
or woody capsule
, opening by a lid. There are 20 genera, with about 280 species, occurring in the tropics and concentrated strongly in S. American rain forests.
Brazil nut, common name for the Lecythidaceae, a family of tropical trees. It includes the anchovy pear (Grias cauliflora), a West Indian species with edible fruit used for pickles, and several lumber trees of South America, e.g., the cannon-ball tree (Couroupita guianensis), some species of Barringtonia, and the Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa). The latter is found chiefly in Brazil along the Amazon and Orinoco rivers, but extensive groves have also been planted in N Bolivia. The edible Brazil nuts grow clumped together in large, round, woody and extremely hard seed pods the size of a large grapefruit. The meat of the seed (the
) is very rich in oil. The Brazil nut family is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Lecythidales.
From wild trees of Bertholletia excelsa
. A 60‐g portion (eighteen nuts) is an exceptionally rich source
of selenium; a rich source of vitamins B1
and E; a good source of protein, niacin, and calcium; a source of iron; contains 40 g of fat, of which 25% is saturated
and 40% mono‐unsaturated; provides 5.5 g of dietary fibre; supplies 400 kcal (1680 kJ).
Seed of an evergreen tree, which has leathery leaves and grows to 41m (135ft) tall. Its flowers produce a thick-walled fruit 10–30.5cm (4–12in) in diameter which contain 25–40 large seeds. Family Lecythidaceae; species Bertholletia excelsa.