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Macadamia (bopple nut)


Macadamia flower

Green Macadamia nut

Ripe Macadamia nut

Common names in use are 'bauple' or 'bopple nut' (after Bopple Mountain ), 'bush nut', Mullumbimby nut' and 'Queensland nut'. After plantations were established in Hawaii, the Americans also called it the 'Hawaiian nut'. 

The first European to discover this nut is now attributed to the explorer Allan Cunningham in 1828. The German explorer Ludwig Leichhardt recorded the tree in 1843 and took a sample to Melbourne which is now in the National Herbarium. However, it was not until 1858 that British botanist Ferdinand von Mueller and the director of the Botanical Gardens in Brisbane, Walter Hill, gave the scientific name Macadamia intergrifolia to the tree - named after von Mueller's friend Dr.John MacAdam, a noted scientist and secretary to the Philosophical Institute of Australia. 

Walter Hill, so the story goes, asked a young associate to crack some nuts for germinating. The lad ate some and claimed they were delicious. Hill was under the impression that these Bauple nuts were poisonous and after a few days, when the boy showed no signs of ill-health, he tasted some himself, proclaiming he had discovered a nut to surpass all others.

These were the first recorded Europeans to eat these amazing nuts.

Hill cultivated the first Macadamia intergrifolia in the Brisbane Botanical Gardens, also in the year 1858. It is still alive and bearing fruit today.

The Hawaiian Story obviously had to start from Australia. As far as is known the first importation of seed was between 1881 and 1885 by William H. Purvis. These seeds were planted at Kukuihaele in the Hamakua district on the Island of Hawaii. These seeds came from between Gympie and Mt. Bauple




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