Macadamia – Ingenuity
Genus: Macadamia – Family: Proteaceae
The spirit of macadamia encourages us to apply our ingenuity in a collaborative effort for the greater good.
Macadamia is an evergreen tree native to Australia. It evolved some 50 million years ago as Australia was separating from the mega-continent of Gondwana. It survived near extinction by adapting its ecology into four species that survived in isolated pockets on the fringe of Australia’s rainforests.
When the first people populated Australia over 60,000 years ago, the macadamia nut became a treasured food source, which they named gyndnlor goomburra. This “nut” inspired them to create stone tools to crack open the macadamia’s hard, outer shells. Macadamia nuts were eaten raw or roasted in the ash of open fires. This delicious non-perishable food source, was treated like currency or given as ceremonial gifts within Aboriginal groups.
This valuable nut that was as “good as gold” was “discovered” by European explorers in the early 1800s. It was renamed Macadamia by Baron Ferdinand von Mueller, Director of the Australian Botanical Gardens. He did this in honor of 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.
Macadamia nuts are now Australia’s only native food crop. Australia is the world’s largest producer of macadamia nuts. The species growing in the wild that produce edible nuts are: Macadamia integrifolia and Macadamia tetraphylla.
Macadamia trees will begin producing nuts in their seventh to tenth year, from that point on they can produce 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.
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