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cashew(kăsh`o͞o, kəsho͞o`), tropical American tree (Anacardium occidentale) of the family Anacardiaceae (sumacsumac
, common name for some members of the Anacardiaceae, a family of trees and shrubs native chiefly to the tropics but ranging into north temperate regions and characterized by resinous, often acrid, sap.
..... Click the link for more information. family), valued chiefly for the cashew nut of commerce. The tree's acrid sap is used in making a varnish that protects woodwork and books from insects. The fruit is kidney-shaped, about an inch in length, and has a double shell. The kernel or cashew nut, which is sweet, oily, and nutritious, is much used for food in the tropics after being roasted to destroy the caustic juice. It yields a light-colored oil said to be the equal of olive oil and is utilized in various culinary ways. In the West Indies it is used to flavor wine, particularly Madeira, and is imported into Great Britain for this purpose. The nut grows on the end of a fleshy, pear-shaped stalk, called the cashew apple, which is white, yellow, or red, juicy and slightly acid, and is eaten, used for juice, and fermented to make an alcoholic beverage. Cashews are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
..... Click the link for more information. , class Magnoliopsida, order Sapindales, family Anacardiaceae.
(Anacardium occidentale), a tree up to 12 m tall of the family Anacardiaceae. It is cultivated in the tropics. The shell of the nutlike fruit yields cashew oil, which is used in medicine; there is also an edible nucleus. The pear-shaped peduncle, known as the cashew apple, has a pleasant bittersweet taste, is rich in vitamin C, and is valued as a fruit. A gum is made from the trunks of old cashew trees. Articles made from cashew wood are resistant to decay.
REFERENCESAlekseev, V. P. “Kazhu, akazhu: Anacardium occidentale L.” Subtropicheskie kul’tury, 1959, no 1.
Siniagin, I. I. Tropicheskie zemledelie. Moscow, 1968. Pages 417–19.