Money Tree

Pachira aquatica (Malvaceae)

Characteristics

Small trees, normally 4-5 m, in the wild up to 18 m. Trunk sometimes buttressed. Bark smooth. Always on moist soil (wetlands). Leaves shiny green, palmate with lanceolate leaflets. Flowers are among the largest tree flowers in the world. Long narrow petals, open like a banana peel and reveal hairlike yellowish orange stamens.

Distribution

Native to swamps of Central and South America, often cultivated throughout the tropics as a popular ornamental plant (many specimens in cultivation sold as Pachira aquatica are actually the simillar species P. glabra).

Natural Medical Properties

No known.

Did you know?

The name “money tree” seems to refer to a story of its origin, where a poor man prayed for money, found this “odd” plant, took it home as an omen, and made money selling plants grown from its seeds.

Another common name for the money tree (Pachira aquatica) is “French Peanut”.

Further reading:

Literature

World Flora Online
WorldChecklist of Selected Plant Families
A working list of all plant species