Macadamia – Ingenuity – Three of Nuts & Seeds (Coins)

Genus: Macadamia – Family: Proteaceae

The macadamia inspires us to apply our ingenuity and creativity in a collaborative effort with others to bring something new to the world.

Macadamia is an evergreen tree native to Australia. It is thought to have evolved over 50 million years ago during a time when Australia was separating from the mega-continent of Gondwana. Macadamia came close to extinction when it separated into four species that existed in isolated pockets at the fringe of rainforests.

When the first people populated Australia, 65,000 years ago, the macadamia nut became a valuable raw food source. They called it gyndnl or boomburra. Stone tools were created to crack open the hard, outer shells. Macadamia nuts were eaten raw or roasted in the ash of open fires; creating a non-perishable food that was used as currency when trading for goods with other Aboriginal groups.

This valuable nut was “discovered” by European explorers in the early 1800s. In 1857, it was officially named macadamia by Baron Ferdinand von Mueller, Director of the Botanical Gardens in Australia to honor his friend, Dr. John Macadam, a Scottish born chemist, teacher and politician.

In the late 1800s, macadamia seedlings were introduced to Hawaii where it blossomed into a commercially viable crop. Inspired by what Hawaii had created with their “native” macadamia tree, the Australians began creating macadamia plantations in 1916. Today macadamia is Australia’s only native food crop and is the third largest crop sold on an international scale.

Of the approximately seven species of macadamia trees that grow in the wild, only two produce edible nuts: Macadamia integrifolia and Macadamia tetraphylla. They don’t begin producing nuts until their seventh to tenth year. They can continue producing for over a hundred years. The blossoms appear as a long chain of white flowers called a raceme. The visible green husk contains a single hard-shelled kernel that encases the prized macadamia nut. Macadamia nuts are packed with nutrients, good fats, minerals and vitamins that are used to create delicious and ingenious recipes.

Message: Macadamia inspires us to use ingenuity, creativity, skill and teamwork to begin a new project or embark on a new adventure. This signals a time when our creative ideas could spread beyond our imagination and open doors for others. We are also being reminded to remain open to others’ ideas; even if they appear to parallel ours. Through collaboration and creativity, the gifts of life can be shared and expanded.

Challenge: Not seeing the potential that is right in front of us. Allowing jealousy to cloud our judgment, preventing us from realizing a dream we have held onto for years.