The tree is common in the tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests of Pacific and Atlantic watersheds of Central and South America , extending as far north as Guatemala and south into Ecuador ; this large evergreen tree grows along riverbanks, reaching heights of up to 48 m, with a straight, rose-hued trunk reaching 3 m in diameter. The leaves are simple, oval-shaped, 15—30 cm long and 5—12 cm broad; the flowers are produced in a panicle up to 35 cm long, each flower small, pale green to white. Older flowers develop a strong clove-like fragrance; the fruit is a 2 -- 3 cm kidney-shaped drupe. Maturation occurs in March and May; the wild cashew is a related species within the same genus as the cashew.
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Drawing: R. The fruit is shaped like a kidney, resembling the cashew, matures from March to May, and is dispersed by birds or mammals. Juveniles in urban areas and farmland often appear far from any adult, showing that common birds readily carry the seed. Distribution: One of the most abundant trees in the vicinity of Panama City and Gamboa, on both sides of the Canal, and much of the Pacific slope of Panama; in some areas, it forms nearly pure stands, and it can be especially abundant along streams.
But it is a tree of secondary forest and disturbed areas, and there are seldom juveniles in mature forest. As a consequence, it is not common in old forest of Barro Colorado or Soberania, although the few trees present are immense.
It is much less common on the Atlantic slope. In the forest, a useful trait is the heavy leaf fall under the crown. But in urban areas and farmland, it is also common as a juvenile, and then it can be confused. The frangipani, Plumeria acutifolia, and the wild frangipani Laxoplumeria sp.
The fruit, although resembling cashew, is not edible, but the nut is toasted and consumed locally.
Mijao (Anacardium excelsum)
Anacardium excelsum Skeels