Wild Cashew Nut: Anacardium excelsum


There is a wild species of Cashew (Cashew nut) or ‘Kaju (Kaaju, काजू) in Hindi’, Known as Wild Cashew Nut or Bhelwan (भेलवां, in local Indian language) and scientifically known as Anacardium excelsum, is a flowering and fruiting tropical and sub-tropical plant/tree.

General Introduction

Common NameWild Cashew Nut
English NameWild Cashew Nut
Hindi NameJungli Kaaju (Kaju) or जंगली काजू
Other NamesEspave, Bhelwan or भेलवां in local Indian language
Scientific NameAnacardium excelsum
2nVarious: 24, 30, 40, 42
TypeFlowering and Fruiting tree


7.Flowering and Fruiting
8.Comparison Between Cultivated and Wild Species of Cashew
9.Image Gallery

1. Introduction

Image: A full grown wild cashew nut tree

The name काजू or kaaju is derived from the Portuguese name Caju which in turn originated from Acaju, the name given to cashew by the tapi Indians of Brazil.

The plant takes many years to become a big tree. It is an evergreen tree.

Related Species (Ref. 01)

A. occidentale, A. microcarpum, A. tenuifolium, A. rondonianum, A. negrense, A. kuhlmannianum, A. amilcarianum, A. parvifolium, A. corymbosum, A. microsepalum, A. sruceanum, A. rhinocarpus, A. nanum, A. mediterraneum, A. humile, A. giganteum, A. encardium, A. curatellaefolium, A. brasiliense, A. orthonianum, A. phemilium, A. macrocarpa.

Also Read: Cashewnut: Propagation and Cultivation, Processing, Research Work

Other Plant/Tree With Same Family

Common NameScientific Name
Cultivated CashewAnacardium occidentale
MangoMangifera indica
Hog PlumSpondias mombin
Pepper TreeSchinus molle
Mastic TreePistacia lentiscus
Pistacia NutPistacia vera
Poison IvyToxicodendron radicans
SumacRhus coriaria
MarulaSclerocarya birrea
Smoke TreeCotinus spp.

2. Occurrence

The tree is commonly found in the tropical and sub-tropical jungles of India. Out side Asia, it is also found in some countries of South America such as Ecuador.

3. Botany

Tree Trunk: The tree trunk is strong and rarely branched. The strait tree trunk have many branches over the main trunk. It is rough in appearance. Twigs are fragile, and can easily be broken.


The leaves are simple, alternate, oval-shaped. The length of the biggest leave ranges from 25 – 35 cm long. And, the width of the broadest leaf is 15 – 20 cm.


*The flowers are produced in a panicle up to 25 -35 cm long.
*Flowers are small. The colour of the flower is pale green to white.
*Later on  flowers turn pink.


Image: Ripe fruit of wild cashew nut (The apple of the fruit is green and bigger than the nut when unripe, while it is black and equal to nut after ripening. The apple of the fruits turn pale yellow after ripening).

*The fruit is 3 – 3.5 cm (1.18 – 1.37 inch) long. It is the length of whole fruit including nut and apple.
*The fruit is a drupe.
*Ripening occurs in March to May. In middle India, ripening can be seen from early January.

Also Read: Horticulture Multiple Choice Objective Questions and Answers: Horticulture Entrance Exam

4. Relation

It is closely related with the cultivated species of cashew or cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale).

5. Characteristics

The fruits (both the nut and the apple) is highly toxic to humans. Although, it can be eaten after roasting.

6. Propagation

Propagation can be done by seed.

7. Flowering and Fruiting

Flowering: Sept. – October to February.

Fruiting: Fruiting can be seen from December.

Pollination: Pollination is done by…



*Tree ants.


8. Comparison Between Cultivated and Wild Species of Cashew

Comparison PointsWild CashewCultivated Cashew
Apple SizeSmallToo much bigger than wild species
Nut SizeSmallBigger
Tree SizeBiggerSmaller
ToxicityHighervery low
Resistant to insect-pestsResistantVulnerable
CultivationNot cultivatedCultivated on commercial scale

9. Image Gallery

Image 9.1: Unripe Fruits With Leaves

Image 9.2: Ripe and Unripe Fruits With Leaves

Also Read: Cultivation Practice for African Marigold

Other Species

Other Posts


01 wikipedia.org/wiki/Anacardium


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1. Author and Content Writer. 2. Agriculture Consultant and Farmer's Trainer. 3. Agriculture Entrepreneur.
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