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souari trees
Caryocar nuciferum - Lemaire.JPG
Pekea-nut (Caryocar nuciferum)[1]
Caryocar brasiliense
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Caryocaraceae
Genus: Caryocar
F.Allam. ex L.
  • Pekea Aubl. 1775 not Juss. 1789 (Lecythidaceae)
  • Saouari Aubl.
  • Rhizobolus G.Gaertn. ex Schreb.
  • Barollaea Neck.
  • Acantacaryx Arruda ex Koster, not validly published
  • Acanthocarya Arruda ex Endl.

Caryocar (souari trees) is a genus of flowering plants, in the South American family Caryocaraceae described as a genus by Linnaeus in 1771.[3][4] It is native primarily to South America with a few species extending into Central America and the West Indies.[2]

Caryocar consists of trees that yield a strong timber. Some of the species within the genus Caryocar have edible fruits, called souari-nuts or sawarri-nuts.[5] The most well-known species is probably the Pekea-nut (C. nuciferum). In Brazil the Pequi (C. brasiliense) is most popular; it has a variety of uses, not the least among them being the production of pequi oil. Furthermore, some species are used by indigenous peoples to produce poisons for hunting.

  1. Caryocar amygdaliferum Mutis - Colombia, Panama
  2. Caryocar amygdaliforme G.Don - Ecuador, N Peru
  3. Caryocar brasiliense A.St.-Hil. - Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay
  4. Caryocar coriaceum Wittm. - N Brazil
  5. Caryocar costaricense Donn.Sm. - Costa Rica
  6. Caryocar cuneatum Wittm. - Brazil
  7. Caryocar dentatum Gleason - NW Brazil, Bolivia
  8. Caryocar edule Casar. - Bahia, Rio de Janeiro
  9. Caryocar glabrum (Aubl.) Pers. - French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil
  10. Caryocar microcarpum Ducke - Lesser Antilles, French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia
  11. Caryocar montanum Prance - Guyana, Bolívar, Roraima
  12. Caryocar nuciferum L. - Pekea-nut, Butter-nut of Guinea - St. Kitts, St. Vincent, French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, Venezuela, N Brazil
  13. Caryocar pallidum A.C.Sm. - NW Brazil, S Venezuela, Bolivia
  14. Caryocar villosum (Aubl.) Pers. - French Guiana, Venezuela, N Brazil, Colombia


  1. ^ 1847 illustration from Flore des serres et des jardins de l’Europe by Charles Lemaire and others. Gent, Louis van Houtte, 1847, volume 3 (plate 183-184).
  2. ^ a b c Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  3. ^ Linnaeus, Carl von. 1771. Mantissa Plantarum 2: 154, 247
  4. ^ Tropicos, Caryocar L.
  5. ^ Hoehne (1946)

External links[edit]