Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Semecarpus anacardium
L.f., Anacardiaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  Evaluate, score: 5 (Go to the risk assessment)

Common name(s): [more details]

English: marking nut tree, phobi nut tree, varnishtree

French: anacarde d'Orient

Habit:  tree

Description:  "A medium sized to large tree, 15-25 m in height, with grey bark exfoliating in small irregular flakes. Leaves are simple, alternate, obovate oblong, rounded at the apex, coriaceous, glabrous above and more or less pubescent beneath, main nerves 15-25 pairs. Flowers are greenish white fascicled in pubescent panicles. Fruits are obliquely ovoid or oblong drupes and 2.5 cm long. The upper portion of the fruit is cup-shaped, smooth, fleshy, orange red in colour and sweet and edible when ripe. It is formed of the thickened disc and accerescent calyx base. The lower base, which may be termed the nut, consists of smooth, black, shining pericarp which is thick, containing between its outer and inner laminae oblong cells full of a corrosive resinous juice. This juice is white when the fruit is immature, but brownish or quite black when the fruit is ripe. The nut is approximately 1 x 0.75 x 0.33 inches and weighs on an average 3.5 g.  Inside the nut and protected by the hard shell is a white kernel which is sweet and nutritious as the almond or cashew-nut kernel"  (a href=";jsessionid=0B3090774D564DC292E124BD71750A4B">Gouthaman et al., 2008; p. 194).

Habitat/ecology:  In India and Nepal, "found in the outer Himalayas and hotter parts of India up to 3500 ft. height.  It is frequently found in drier rather than damp localities.  No specific soil affinity"  (Semalty et al., 2010).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  India and Nepal, cultivated elsewhere (GRIN).


Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island   Bishop Museum (U.S.A. Hawaii. Honolulu.) (year unknown) (voucher ID: BISH 22928)
Taxon name on voucher: Semecarpus anacardium L. f.
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands native
Hancock, I. R./Henderson, C. P. (1988) (p. 108)

Control:  If you know of control methods for Semecarpus anacardium, please let us know.

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This page was created on 25 OCT 2010 and was last updated on 22 AUG 2011.