Anacardium occidentale L.

Last updated: 06 April 2015

Scientific Name

Anacardium occidentale L.


Acajuba occidentalis (L.) Gaertn., Anacardium microcarpum Ducke, Cassuvium pomiferum Lam., Cassuvium reniforme Blanco, Cassuvium solitarium Stokes [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Gajus, jambu monyet [2], gajus,jambu golok, jambu mede [3], kajus, janggus, kanjus, janggar, jambu terong, bunga kekasar, jambu irong, ketereh [4]
English Cashew [2][3], cashew nut [4]
China Jia ru shu, yao guo li, yao guo shu[3]
India Hijli badam, kaju (Bengali); hijlibadam, kaajuu, kaju, kajubadam, khajoor (Hindi); geru, gerumara, godambi (Kannada); kashukavu, kasumav, parangi mavu, parankimaav (Malayalam); kaju, kajugola (Marathi) [3]
Indonesia Jambu monyet, jambu mede, jambu mortyet [3], jambu gajus, jambu mete(Javanese); jambu erang, jambu monje, gaju (Sumatran) [4]
Thailand Mamuang him maphan, mamuang letlor, yaruang [3], ya-koi,ya-ruang, mamuang himapan [4]
Myanmar T hiho thayet [2], sihosayesi, thee hot [3]
Philippines Kasoy, balubad (Tagalog); balogo (Ilokano) [2]
Cambodia Svaay chantii [2][3]
Vietnam Dào lôn hôt (North); cây diêù (South) [2]
Japan Anakarudiumu okushidentare, kashuunatto no ki [3]
Nepal Kaajuu [3]
Saudi Arabia Kaju [3]
France Cajou, anacardier [2], acajou à pommes, anacardier, cajou, noix-cajou, noix de cajou, pomme d'acajou [3]
Germany Akajoubaum, kaschubaum, kaschunuß, kaschunußbaum, westindische elefantenlaus [3]
Italy Acajiú, anacardio [3]
Greece Anakardia, eidos fistikiou, fistiki kasious [3]
Poland Nerkowiec [3]
Portugal Cajú, cajú do camop, cajueiro, cajueiro-do-campo [3]
Russia Anakardium zaladnyi, derevo kesh'iu, vrkkaphalah [3]
Serbia Beli mahagoni, indijanski kašu-orah, pipak [3]
Spain Anacardo, cashu, marañon, merey (Venezuela) [3]
Denmark Acajounød [3]
Netherlands Cashewnoot, kasjoe, kasjoeboom, mereke [3]
Bosnia Beli mahagoni, indijanski kašu-orah, pipak [3]
Republic Czech Kešú o?íšky [3].

Geographical Distributions

Anacardium occidentale is originated from north eastern Brazil, cashew spread into South and Central America. The Portuguese introduced it into India and East Africa. It is then spread into Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Indonesia. The Spaniards took it to the Philippines in the 17th Century. [2]

Botanical Description

A. occidentale comes from the family of Anacardiaceae. It is an evergreen tree which can reach up to 12 m tall and with a wide dome-shaped crown. The foliage forms a thin peripheral canopy, studded with the protruding inflorescences. The taproot is up to 3 m deep and persistent. [2]

The lateral roots spread beyond the crown projection, with sinker roots to a depth of 6 m. [2]

The stem branches along the main trunk which is 0.5-1.5 m long. [2]

The leaves are arranged alternately, obovate to obovate-oblong, up to 20 cm x 15 cm, hairless and leathery. They are red-brown when young but later becoming shining dark green, and with prominent midrib and veins. The petiole is 1-2 cm long, swollen at base and flattened on upper surface. [2]

The inflorescence is a lax terminal, drooping, many-flowered panicle and up to 25 cm long with fragrant male and hermaphrodite flowers. The 5 sepals are lance-shaped to oblong-ovate, 4-15 mm x 1-2 mm and hairy. There are 5 linear-lance-shaped petals of 7-13 mm x 1-1.5 mm, reflexed and whitish at anthesis but later turning pinkish-red. There are 10 stamens. The male flowers are with 7-9 stamens of 4 mm and 1-3 stamens of 6-10 mm in length. The hermaphrodite flowers are usually with 9 short and 1 long stamens. The long stamens produce viable pollen. The style is simple, 12 mm long and exserted from petal to same length as long stamens. [2]

The fruit is a kidney-shaped nut, about 3 cm x 1.2 cm, with grey-brown and resinous hard pericarp. The pedicel is much enlarged and swollen, forming the fruit-like cashew apple which is pear-shaped, 10-20 cm x 4-8 cm, shiny, red to yellow, soft and juicy. [2]

The seed is kidney-shaped with reddish-brown testa, two large white cotyledons and a small embryo. The kernel remaining after removal of the testa is commonly known as cashew nut. [2]


At present, this plant is cultivated in many tropical countries; the main producers are Brazil, India, Mozambique and Tanzania. [2]

A. occidentale requires high temperature and frost is deleterious. The distribution of rainfall over the year is important rather than quantity of fruiting. It fruits well if rain is not abundant during flowering period and if nuts mature in a dry period; the latter ensures good quality harvest. The tree can adapt to very dry conditions as long as its extensive root system has access to soil moisture. In drier areas (annual rainfall 800-1000 mm), deep and well-drained soil without impervious layers is essential. A simple water budget with the aid of pan evaporation figures will show the required soil depth. [2]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of A. occidentale L. [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Anacardium occidentale L.[homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2015 Apr 6]. Available from:
  2. Van Eijnatten CLM. Anacardium occidentale L. In: Verheij EWM, Coronel RE, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 2: Edible fruits and nuts. Wageningen, Netherlands: Pudoc Scienyific Publisher, 1991; p. 60-64
  3. Philippines medicinal plants. Kasuy. [homepage on the internet] c2014. [updated 2014; cited 2014 Dec 12] Available from:
  4. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research. Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Volume 1. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC-IMR: 2002. p.44.