The Brazil nut tree is enormous, frequently attaining the height of 40 to 50 m or more, and it can reach ages of 500-800 years old. The tree is called castanheiro do para in Brazil and is found throughout the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. The fruit is a large, round woody capsule or pod, about the size of a large grapefruit and weighing up to 2.2 kg. The fruit pods grow at the ends of thick branches, then ripen and fall from the tree from January to June, usually with a loud crashing sound as they fall 150 feet through the canopy like cannon balls. Inside each fruit pod, wedged in like orange segments, are 12 to 25 Brazil nuts, each within its own individual shell. Mature Brazil nut trees can produce approximately 300 or more of these fruit pods annually.
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