The money tree (Pachira aquatica) is an evergreen tree native to South America and Central America. Among other names, the money tree is also called Guyana chestnut, provision tree, Malabar chestnut, wild cocoa, mamorana and French peanut.
Money tree leaves are dark green and shiny, and grow 8 to 10 inches long. They grow densely and are compound in shape, having three to nine leaflets on one petiole (leaf stalk).
Bark and Height
The money tree grows up to 60 feet tall when growing in the wild, and has gray bark.
The flower of the money tree is large and droopy with petals that are cream colored. Each flower contains 3- to 4-inch long off-white stamens that are tipped with red.
The money tree's nuts form after the flowers bloom. They are approximately half an inch long, and form in wood-like pods that grow 12 inches long and 5 inches in diameter (resembling a football). When the nuts reach full size, the pod breaks open.
The money tree grows naturally in wetlands, in freshwater swamps that are connected to tropical estuaries. Often it grows near rivers.
Other than South and Central America, the money tree is grown in tropical areas such as Hawaii.