Many types of nuts will grow well in the tropics, including coconuts, cashew nuts, macadamia nuts peanuts and almonds.
While peanuts and almonds are not true nuts, most people would think of them as such, we give you the botanical definition of a nut in this post.
Don’t mistake nuts for vegetables, because nuts are actually a type of fruit. The United States department of agriculture defines a nut as ” dry, single-seeded fruits that have high oil content. They are usually enclosed in a leathery or solid outer layer.”
Peanuts grow under the ground on a leguminous plant, and yes, these nuts grow well under tropical conditions. Note how cuisines such as Thai and Vietnamese use a lot of peanuts, this reflects their tropical to sub tropical regions.
Some cultivars of chestnuts can also be grown in the tropics.
Nuts are dense in protein, fats and carbohydrates making them a valuable food plant in a tropical climate, however, most nuts grow on trees and take a long time to produce a good crop, so the best time to plant nuts in the tropics is always 10 years ago!
Most nut trees will grow as perennials, growing year-round, for many years, in a tropical climate.
Nuts That Grow in The Tropics
Tropical nuts include the coconut, of course. The king of nuts, from which we can easily make coconut oil for cooking or to protect our hair and skin. Coconut water is the liquid inside the coconut, and coconut milk can be extracted from the grated flesh.
Coconuts are a versatile and valuable food crop to grow if you have the right conditions and plenty of space. We are blessed with 3 mature coconut trees on our new 5 acre farm or homestead.
Cashews also grow in the tropics. A cashew tree produces a cashew apple, the cashew nut hangs beneath the swollen stem which forms the “apple”. Again, this is a very versatile tree. I have a small cashew tree which I grew from seed, I’ll let you know how many years it takes to grow.
Macadamias are another example of a tropical nut.