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Caryocar villosum - (Aubl.) Pers.

Common Name Piquia
Family Caryocaraceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards The seed case beneath the pulp has rigid spines - care should be taken when eating the fresh fruit that one does not harm themselves on these spines[416 ].
Habitats Found in both primary and secondary rainforests on land that is not subject to periodic inundation[419 ].
Range Northern S. America - Brazil to Guyana.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Caryocar villosum Piquia
Caryocar villosum Piquia


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Caryocar villosum is an evergreen Tree growing to 30 m (98ft) by 35 m (114ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Caryocar butyrosum (Aubl.) Willd. Pekea butyrosa Aubl. Pekea villosa (Aubl.) Poir. Rhizobolus butyrosus (Aubl.) J.F.Gmel. Saouari villosa Aubl.


Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Oil  Seed
Edible Uses: Oil

Seed - raw or cooked[63 ]. Eaten as a dessert[317 ]. The large, soft, white kernels have a delicious, rich, almond-like flavour[63 ]. Rich in oil[46 ]. An edible oil is obtained from the tissue surrounding the seed[63 , 317 ]. Another edible oil is obtained from the seed[63 , 317 ]. Fruit - raw or cooked[301 ]. It has the faint smell of rancid butter[301 ]. The fruit is more commonly cooked[416 ]. The fleshy, aromatic, yellow pulp has a slightly sweet flavour[416 ]. The seed case beneath the pulp has rigid spines - care should be taken when eating the fresh fruit that one does not harm themselves on these spines[416 ].


Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The leaves and bark are diaphoretic[739 ].


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Other Uses


The heartwood is yellow to light brownish grey; it is clearly demarcated from the 15mm wide band of dirty white sapwood. The wood is cross-grained, with little if any taste or odour. It is rather hard, heavy, very tough, durable and very resistant to wood-eating organisms. The wood works well; takes nails fairly well; planes moderaely easily but very badly; turns moderately easily but indifferently; polishes indifferently. It is suitable for house and ship building, cabinet making, wheel arches and hubs, fence posts, railway sleepers etc[317 , 419 , 492 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming


Cultivation details

Experimental Crop  Management: Standard  Staple Crop: Oil  Wild Staple Crop

A slow-growing tree[419 ].

Carbon Farming

  • Experimental Crop  Plant breeders are testing these plants to see if they could be domesticated for cultivation, but they are still in an experimental phase. Examples include milkweed and leafy spurge.
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Staple Crop: Oil  (0-15 percent protein, 16+ percent oil). Some of these are consumed whole while others are exclusively pressed for oil. Annuals include canola, poppyseed, maize, cottonseed, sunflower, peanut. Perennials include high-oil fruits, seeds, and nuts, such as olive, coconut, avocado, oil palm, shea, pecan, and macadamia. Some perennial oil crops are consumed whole as fruits and nuts, while others are exclusively pressed for oil (and some are used fresh and for oil).
  • Wild Staple Crop  Some wild plants have strong historical or contemporary use. Although they are not cultivated crops, they may be wild-managed.


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Seed - takes 6 - 12 months to germinate[63 ]. Alternatively, immerse the seeds in warm water for 48 hours, changing the water every 12 hours[419 ]. Sow the seed in individual containers in a sunny or lightly shaded position. Pre-soaked seed can sprout within 30 - 50 days with a moderate germination rate[419 ]. Grow young plants on in a sheltered position with some shelter from the sun[63 ]. Seedlings can be planted out when 25 cm tall[324 ]. Good results can be obtained from grafting and marcottage[324 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Amendoa de aspinho, Arbre a beurre, Bats suari, Pekea, Pequia, Piquia, Almendro, Piqui, Petia

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Amazon, Asia, Bolivia, Brazil, Guiana, Malaysia, Peru, SE Asia, South America, Venezuela

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Caryocar brasiliensePequi, Souari nutTree10.0 10-12 SLMHNDM422
Caryocar nuciferumSouari Nut. Butter NutTree45.0 10-12 MLMHNM422

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Expert comment


(Aubl.) Pers.

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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