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Macadamia tetraphylla - L.A.S.Johnson.

Common Name Queensland Nut, Macadamia nut
Family Proteaceae
USDA hardiness 9-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats In or near rainforests[167 ]. 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 tetraphylla Queensland Nut, Macadamia nut

Macadamia tetraphylla Queensland Nut, Macadamia nut


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Physical Characteristics

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Macadamia tetraphylla is an evergreen Tree growing to 10 m (32ft) by 10 m (32ft) at a slow rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 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. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Plant Habitats

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

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Oil  Seed
Edible Uses: Milk  Oil

Seed - raw or cooked[2 , 46 , 105 ]. Pleasantly flavoured and nutritious[1 , 61 ], the seed is a little sweeter than the related Macadamia integrifolia and contains a little less oil[301 ]. They can be eaten as a dessert nut and can also be ground into a flour and then mixed with cereal flours to enrich the protein content. The shell is very hard, making it difficult to extract the seed[260 ]. The seed is up to 30mm long and 24mm wide[286 ]. The seed contains up to 72% of a high grade oil[156 , 183 ]. This oil is seldom extracted due to the high value of the seed[63 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

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

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Cosmetic  Fuel  Oil  Plant breeding  Tannin

Agroforestry Uses: The decomposed husk is commonly used in potting soil[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 ]. The tree is used as a rootstock for M. Integrifolia[418 ].

Special Uses

Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Macadamia tetraphylla succeeds in cool tropical or subtropical climates - in Australia they fruit well even when growing at least as far south as Sydney[157 , 335 ]. In the tropics the plant fruits best at elevations from 1,000 - 1,500 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 14 - 28°c, but can tolerate 8 - 38°c[418 ]. When dormant, the plant can survive temperatures down to about -2°c, but young growth can be severely damaged at -1°c[418 ]. The plant can survive slight frosts, though cold weather can result in the loss of the entire crop[200 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,250 - 2,000mm, but tolerates 850 - 3,000mm[418 ]. Plants grow best in rich moist but well-drained soils and a position in full sun[117 ]. They require copious summer watering in their early stages[167 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 7, tolerating 4.5 - 8[418 ]. Trees require a sheltered position and are easily damaged by strong winds[117 , 200 ]. Plants are slow growing in cultivation, seedlings take 6 - 7 years to produce their first fruit[117 , 167 ]. The trees then produce commercial crops for about 40 - 50 years and can fruit for up to 100 years[200 ]. There are some named varieties[167 , 183 ]. Plants are self-fertile but yield better if cross-pollinated[117 ]. Pruning is not normally necessary, but is tolerated if carried out in the autumn[188 ].

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 in a nursery bed[188 ]. The dehusked seed germinates quickly at 25°c[200 ]. Cultivars may be grafted. Side wedge grafting has been used exclusively in Hawaii[303 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Queensland Nut, Bopple nut, Mukandania,

Australia, Africa, Australia, Brazil, Central America, China, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, East Africa, Fiji, Hawaii, Kenya, North America, Pacific, Papua New Guinea, PNG, SE Asia, Singapore, South America, Tanzania, Tonga, USA,

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 integrifoliaMacadamia, Macadamia nutTree10.0 9-12 SLMHNM403
Macadamia ternifoliaMacadamia Nut, Gympie nutTree8.0 10-12 MLMHNM402

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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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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