- Maior Cajueiro do Mundo
- 8500 square metre(s)
- Brazil (Parnamirim)
The world’s largest cashew nut tree (Anacardium occidentale) can be found in Pirangi do Norte, a beach in the municipality of Parnamirim in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. It covers an area of approximately 8,500 m² (3,281.34 sq ft), with its limbs radiating out some 50 m (164 ft) from the central trunk. The tree, known as “Major Cajueiro do Mondo” (“Largest Cashew in the world”), is thought to be over 100 years old, and was reputedly planted in 1888 by a local fisherman called Luis Inácio de Oliveira. Its prodigious size is the consequence of a genetic mutation that allows four of the tree’s five branches to put down new sets of roots whenever they touch the ground. Over time, these points become secondary trunks that are effectively clones of the original tree.
Only one of the tree’s five branches has a normal behaviour and stopped growing when it reached the ground. Locals call this branch “Salario minimo”, or “Minimum wage”. The upkeep of Major Cajueiro do Mondo is a somewhat controversial subject in the city of Natal. The tree is still growing and is now pushing against the boundaries of the park established for it. Without pruning, it will soon overrun one of the main roads through the city.