Anacardium (cashew) genus

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Example species (Anacardium excelsum)

Common Name(s): Cashew

Distribution: Tropical areas of Central and South America

Genus Size: About 20 species

Mechanical Characteristics: Wood tends to be of low weight and hardness. As a utility wood, espave (Anacardium excelsum) has been likened to yellow poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera).

Visual Characteristics: Heartwood is usually golden brown, sometimes with color variations. Grain tends to be interlocked, so quartersawn surfaces also exhibit a ribbon-stripe appearance.

Identification: Diffuse porous wood usually has large to very large pores that are sparsely distributed. Parenchyma is usually vasicentric, sometimes expanding to include lozenge or confluent parenchyma. Nearly all heartwood in the genus is fluorescent under a blacklight.

  Species listing

Comments: Anacardium serves as the type genus for the entire family Anacardiaceae. The name is partially derived from the Greek cardia (think of our English term, cardiac arrest), for its heart-shaped fruit. As with many species in the Anacardiaceae family, wood in this genus has been reported to cause various allergenic reactions, particularly respiratory irritation.

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