Please donate to support our ‘Plants to Save the Planet’ Project. The Project is directed at enabling designers of ‘carbon farms’ and ‘food forests’: agroecosystems of perennial plants, to choose the most appropriate plants for their requirements and site conditions. We are working on a subset of plants in the PFAF database identified as having the most potential for inclusion in such designs. We are adding search terms and icons to those plants pages, and providing a range of search options aligned to categories of plants and crop yields, with Help facilities including videos. More >>>

Follow Us:


Macadamia integrifolia - Maiden.&Betche.

Common Name Macadamia, Macadamia nut
Family Proteaceae
USDA hardiness 9-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry rainforests of the eastern coastal scrub[167 , 260 ]. Found mainly on alluvial situations bordering rivers and creeks where the fertile volcanic soils are rich in humus[63 ].
Range Australia - New South Wales, Queensland.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Half Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Macadamia integrifolia Macadamia, Macadamia nut
Macadamia integrifolia Macadamia, Macadamia nut


Translate this page:


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Macadamia integrifolia is an evergreen Tree growing to 10 m (32ft) by 10 m (32ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9 and is frost tender. It is in leaf all year. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees.
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



Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; South Wall. By. West Wall. By.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Oil  Seed
Edible Uses: Oil

Seed - raw or cooked. The fine, crunchy texture, rich cream colour and delicate flavour make the macadamia nut one of the finest dessert nuts[303 ]. The eating quality of the nut is enhanced by lightly roasting it in coconut oil and salting[303 ] .Sweet and delicious, the seeds can also be added to cakes, biscuits, ice cream etc[167 , 183 ]. They can be ground into a flour and then added to cereals to enrich their protein value. The shell is very hard, making it difficult to extract the seed[260 ]. The seed is up to 3cm long and wide[286 ]. An edible oil can be obtained from the seed[183 ], though it is seldom extracted due to the high value of the seed[63 ] The seed contains the highest level of oil yet found in a nut - up to 75%[303 ]. The oil contains 80% monounsaturated fats and 8% omega-6 fatty acids[301 ]. It has a subtle, nutty flavour and is added to salads, used in cooking etc[301 ].


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.

None known


Our new book Edible Shrubs is now available.

Edible Shrubs provides detailed information, attractively presented, on over 70 shrub species. They have been selected to provide a mix of different plant sizes and growing conditions. Most provide delicious and nutritious fruit, but many also have edible leaves, seeds, flowers, stems or roots, or they yield edible or useful oil.

Read More

Edible Shrubs Book

Other Uses


Agroforestry Uses: The decomposed husk is commonly used in potting soil[303 , 418 ]. Macadamia will retard the growth of papaya trees planted near to it[303 ]. Other Uses: Macadamia shells may be used as fuel, generating sufficient energy to dry wet, in-shell nuts[303 ]. The oil from the seed is used in cosmetics[307 ]. The green seed hulls contain approximately 14% of tannins[303 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming


Cultivation details

Agroforestry Services: Crop shade  Global Crop  Management: Standard  Other Systems: Multistrata  Staple Crop: Oil

Macadamia integrifolia is a plant of the subtropics and tropics of eastern Australia. Iit has fairly stringent environmental needs if good crops of seeds are to be produced[303 ]. In the tropics it fruits best at elevations from 1,000 - 1,600 metres, but succeeds down to sea level in the subtropics[418 ]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 10 - 26°c, but can tolerate 8 - 35°c[418 ]. Mature plants are capable of withstanding mild frosts, but only for short periods[303 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,000 - 3,000mm, but tolerates 700 - 3,500mm[418 ]. Requires a sunny position[418 ]. Plants grow best in rich, moist but well-drained soils and require copious summer watering in their early stages[167 , 303 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6, tolerating 4.5 - 7[418 ]. Established plants are very drought resistant[200 ]. Trees require a sheltered position and are easily damaged by strong winds[200 ]. Floral initiation takes place when temperatures drop and trees become quiescent in autumn, the optimum temperature being 18°c[303 ]. The initials remain dormant for 50 - 96 days; the racemes extend after a rise in temperature and some rain[303 ]. Seedling growth is initially slow, but gathers momentum as saplings produce a series of extension growth flushes in a year[303 ]. The juvenile phase lasts for 7 years or more, but grafted trees come into bearing after 3 years[303 ]. Plants are slow growing in cultivation, especially when young, seedlings take 6 - 7 years to produce their first fruit[167 , 303 ]. The trees then produce commercial crops for about 40 - 50 years and can fruit for up to 100 years[200 ]. The trees can flower and produce fruit all year round[324 ]. Yields of 45 kg nuts-in-shell from better trees or an average of 3.2 - 3.5 t/ha per year are obtained in Hawaii[303 ]. Pruning is not normally necessary, but is tolerated if carried out in the autumn[188 ]. There are some named varieties[167 , 183 ].

Carbon Farming

  • Agroforestry Services: Crop shade  Plants providing crop shade especially trees.
  • Global Crop  These crops are already grown or traded around the world. The annual value of each is more than $1 billion US Examples include coconuts, almonds, and bananas.
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Other Systems: Multistrata  Multistrata agroforests feature multiple layers of trees often with herbaceous perennials, annual crops, and livestock.
  • 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).


Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:



The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now


Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a warm greenhouse[188]. The dehusked seed germinates quickly at 25°c[200]. The seed can also be sown in the spring in a warm greenhouse[188]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If trying them outdoors, give the plants some protection from the cold for their first few winters. Cultivars may be grafted.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Macadamia, Smoothshell, Queensland Nut

Found In

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


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
Macadamia hildebrandiiCelebes nutTree14.0 10-12 MLMHNMWe403
Macadamia ternifoliaMacadamia Nut, Gympie nutTree8.0 10-12 MLMHNM402
Macadamia tetraphyllaQueensland Nut, Macadamia nutTree10.0 9-12 SLMHNM403

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.


Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment



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.

Readers comment

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.

2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.

3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the website on their phone.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Macadamia integrifolia  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified (but some can). Please view the copyright link for more information.
Web Design & Management