This nut is a native of British Guiana, and is the fruit of the Coryocar Nuciferum, a magnificent tree growing one hundred feet high, with a trunk two or three feet in diameter. Botanically it belongs to the Tea family, but the nut is very similar to our butternut, which belongs to the Walnut family. They are sometimes called butternuts.
The leaves resemble those of the horse chestnut. The flowers are very large, and have a tube fully a foot long, of a deep purple on the outside and yellow within. It is composed of five thick, fleshy petals and is as showy as our brightest-colored magnolias.
The flowers are produced in terminal clusters succeeded by a fleshy fruit five or six inches in diameter. The nuts are affixed to a central axis and are of a round subreniform shape, and even flattened to an almost sharp edge on one side. The shell is of a deep brown color, embossed, as it were, with smooth tubercles. They are from two to two and one-half inches in diameter. The kernels are pure white, soft, rich, and oily, with a pleasant flavor. This nut is rarely seen in our market excepting those brought by sailors to our seaport towns.