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Description

Brazil nut trees are conspicuous in the non-flooded forests of Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru. They, indeed, are one of the tallest, and long-living plant species among all the tropical rain forests. Each tree can grow up to 50 meters in height with large erect stem and wide umbrella like foliage canopy near its top 1/3. Its lifespan may thought to be of about 500 to 700 years. Each mature tree bears up to 300 fruit pods in a season. A Brazil nut pod features thick outer shell as in coconuts, and may weigh up to 2.5 kg in weight. It takes about 14 months for the fruit to mature after pollination. Upon maturity, the pod falls itself from the tree, usually with a thud. The pods may remain intact even after falling from such a height. At their natural habitat, Brazil nut pods exclusively depend upon caviomorph rodents (agoutis, Dasyprocta spp. that have the ability to gnaw open woody shell) to free and disperse leftover seeds for germination. Internally, each fruit pod features 10-25 seeds (kernels), arranged in segments. Each kernel in turn is encased within its own thick dark-brown thin shell. An edible white meat kernel features triangular base with sloping sides, and sweet nutty flavour and weigh about 5 g.