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Barringtonia procera - (Miers) R.Knuth

Common Name Pao nuts, Cut nut
Family Lecythidaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Secondary rainforests at low elevations[658 ]. Usually associated with human activity, in old gardens, mature coconut plantations, and coastal villages, and in remnants of secondary lowland rainforests[312 ].
Range Australasia - eastern New Guinea, Bismarck Island, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Barringtonia procera Pao nuts, Cut nut

Barringtonia procera Pao nuts, Cut nut


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Barringtonia procera is an evergreen Tree growing to 10 m (32ft) by 8 m (26ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The flowers are pollinated by Moths, Bats.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in saline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Barringtonia guppyana R.Knuth Barringtonia magnifica Lauterb. Barringtonia schuchardtiana K.Schum. Butonica procera Miers

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Seed
Edible Uses:

Seed[324 , 335 , 658 ]. The seed kernel inside the hard shell inside the fruit is about 30mm by 15 - 20mm wide[658 ]. Young leaves - cooked and eaten as a vegetable[324 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

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Antiinflammatory  Antitussive  Stomachic  Urinary

The bark is used in the treatment of stomach ailments and gonorrhoea[339 ]. Sap from the bark has been used for treating ciguatera poisoning, coughs, and urinary infections[312 ]. The leaves are used to treat inflammation of the ear and headaches[312 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Fuel  Plant support  Shelterbelt  Wood

The tree prefers light shade, which makes it a good companion to overstorey tree species such as vi (Spondias cyathera), canarium nut (Canarium spp.), and breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis). Its open canopy structure allows sufficient light penetration to the ground level for other crops such as roots, cereals and other understorey crops such as sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) and a nutritious native leafy tree spinach called bele or edible hibiscus (Abelmoschus manihot), to be interplanted under it. It has been used as a trellis tree for the cash crop betel leaf (Piper betle),as well as for marking land boundaries and creating windbreaks[312 ]. The tree has a well formed lateral root system, yet does not appear to cause major impediments during soil preparation for understory crops, e.g., making mounds for the root crops, nor does it seem to compete heavily with understory crops[312 ]. It can be used in plantations to provide shade for tree crops such as cacao (Theobroma cacao), joint fir (Gnetum gnemon), and betel nut (Areca catechu)[312 ]. Other Uses The wood is light in weight. It is used for canoe paddles, casing, light construction[339 ]. The wood is used as a quick-burning firewood[339 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Coppice  Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Management: Standard  Regional Crop  Staple Crop: Balanced carb

A plant of lowland wet tropical, moist topical and wet subtropical climatic zones, it can be found at elevations up to 600 metres. The plant grows in areas where the mean annual temperature is around 27c, with the hottest moth around 29 - 34c and the coolest 20 - 23c. It cannot tolerate even light frosts. The mean annual rainfall is within the range 1,500 - 4,300mm, usually with a year-round distribution, sometimes with a short dry season[303 , 312 ]. Prefers a position in partial shade, though it can tolerate full sun[312 ]. It grows in moderate to highly fertile, coastal coral soils with light to heavy textures, tolerating rocky, shallow, saline and infertile soils The tree grows well in coastal soils high in pH (up to 8.5), but it does not tolerate waterlogged soils[312 ]. It has medium to high tolerance of steady and strong winds including cyclones. Branches and twigs do not easily snap, but they may be broken off by strong winds. The trees rarely suffer from windthrow due to their height, open canopy structure, and good lateral rooting system[312 ]. Generally, the tree grows moderately quickly, but this varies significantly depending upon trees and growth conditions. The mean annual increment (MAI) for height of trees up to 5 years is 62cm; thereafter the MAI increased to about 1 metre annually for the next 5 years. Thirty-year-old trees had an average MAI of about 1.4 metres[312 ]. Diameter at breast height appears to be relatively uniform with age. Trees aged 5, 10 , 15 , and 20 years old have all attained an MAI for diameter at breast height on the order of 14 - 16cm[312 ]. Trees begin flowering as early as 1.5 years (dwarf variety), although the average is probably 3 years[312 ]. The tree can flower and produce fruit all year round[658 ]. Annual yields of the seeds is estimated at 1.5 - 7 kilos per tree. By the age of 20 years trees can yield 370 - 550 kilos of seeds per hectare[312 ]. Trees coppice and pollard well, with young leafy shoots regrowing rapidly following cutting. Stumps as short as 10cm coppice well[312 ].

Carbon Farming

  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Regional Crop  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally, Examples in this broad category include perennial cottons and many nuts and staple fruits.
  • Staple Crop: Balanced carb  (0-15 percent protein, 0-15 percent oil, with at least one over 5 percent). The carbohydrates are from either starch or sugar. Annuals include maize, wheat, rice, and potato. Perennials include chestnuts, carob, perennial fruits, nuts, cereals, pseudocereals, woody pods, and acorns.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Aikenu, Alingasa, Fala, Falanganoa,Fara, Hala, Hara, Katnat, Kenu, Kino, Kinu, Manavasa, Navele, Nofe, Nuwa, Nyia, Oneve, Tamalivi, Tinge, Tinghe, Tuhala fara, Vele

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Found In

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

Australia, Fiji, Pacific, Papua New Guinea, PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu

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
Barringtonia edulisVutu kana, Cut nutTree12.0 10-12 FLMHSNM422
Barringtonia novae hiberniaePao NutTree10.0 10-12 FLMHNM422

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.


Expert comment


(Miers) R.Knuth

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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