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How Many Different Types of Nuts are There?

Updated on May 26, 2011

Mixed Nuts


Cooks and grocers define nuts as anything with edible kernels and hard shells

We were snacking on a bowl of mixed nuts, when my daughter asked "How many different types of nuts are there?" My reply "I don't know." So we went on a quest to find out just how many nuts we could find. I was surprised 53 is what we found. I was also surprised to find out what nuts really are.

You know what you can't ask anyone these days the answer is google it so that's what we did.

Here is what we found:  A Nut is a hard shelled fruit of some plants that has an indehiscent seed. While a wide variety of dried seeds and fruits are called nuts. I'm confused are you? 

1. Almond: small bushy deciduous tree native to Asia and North Africa having pretty pink blossoms and highly prized edible nuts enclosed in a hard green hull

2. Beech: any of several large deciduous trees with rounded spreading crowns and smooth grey bark and small sweet edible triangular nuts enclosed in burs

3. Butternut: oily egg-shaped nut of an American tree of the walnut family

4. Brazil nut: three-sided tropical American nut with white oily meat and hard brown shell

5. Candle nut: It has a very hard shell usually sold with the shell removed. The cream colored kernel is about the size of a chestnut.

6. Cashew: The kidney-shaped nut that grows on the outside of the cashew apple at its base. The shell is highly toxic.

7. Chestnut: This nut of the chestnut tree was once abundant in America, but most were killed by a fungus at the turn of the century. The many varieties of chestnuts can be boiled, candied, dried, preserved, pureed, roasted, or ground into flour.

8. Chinese chestnut: a small tree with small sweet nuts; wild or naturalized in Korea and China.

9. Malabar Chestnut: Pachira aquatica is a tropical wetland tree native to Central and South America where it grows in swamps.

10. Sweet chestnut: The Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa, family Fagaceae), also known as the Spanish Chestnut, Portuguese Chestnut or European chestnut, is a species of chestnut originally native to southeastern Europe and Asia Minor.

11. Colocynth: Can be poisonous

12. Clurbita ficifolia: is a type of squash grown for its edible seeds, fruits, and greens.

13. Filbert: a species of hazelnut

14. Gevuina avellana: is a species related to macadamia that produces a similar edible nut but is adapted to cool climates.

15. Hazelnut: A hard-shelled nut with an oval or round kernel, high in fiber. Also known as cob nut.

16. Hickory nut: An extremely hard-shelled, high-fat nut used in cakes, cookies, sweet breads, and candies. They are also suitable in recipes calling for pecans.

17. Pecan: is a species of hickory, native to south-central North America, in the United States from southern.

18. Shagbark Hickory: the nuts are moderate in size and thin shelled. It takes a hundred shelled seeds to make a pound.

19. Kola Nut: bitter brown seed containing caffein; source of cola extract. Also called Cola Nut and Cola. Central nervous system stimulant, diuretic antidepressant, and astringent.

20. Macadamia: A small, round, brown nut with a buttery, slightly sweet flavor and a high fat content. Used in a variety of dishes. Also known as "bush nut”

21. Mamoncillo nut: is actually the seed of a Spanish lime.

22. Maya nut: Known as the breadnut related to the fig and the mulberry.

23. Mongongo: Dry fruits are first steamed to soften the skins. After peeling, the fruits are then cooked in water until the maroon-colored flesh separates from the hard inner nuts. The pulp is eaten, and the nuts are saved to be roasted later. I wouldn’t eat this one as the nuts are collected from elephant dung.

24. Oak acorns: The acorn, or oak nut, is the nut of the oaks and their close relatives. Acorns are one of the most important wildlife foods in areas where oaks occur.

25. ogbono nut: is a sun dried fat and protein rich nut

26. Paradise nut: the seed of the sapucaia.

27. pili nut: A nut from a tree native to the Philippines and other Pacific Islands. This light brown, triangular nut has a smooth, hard shell. Normally roasted before being eaten and is added to rice dishes and used to make confections.

28. Pistachio: Nuts that have a distinctive open shell, allowing them to be roasted and salted whole.

29. Walnut: nut of any of various walnut trees having a wrinkled two-lobed seed with a hard shell.

30. Coconut: large hard-shelled oval nut with a fibrous husk containing thick white meat surrounding a central cavity filled (when fresh) with fluid or milk.

31. Horse-chestnut: buckeye: the inedible nutlike seed of the horse chestnut.

32. Lychee: Chinese fruit having a thin brittle shell enclosing a sweet jellylike pulp and a single seed; often dried.

33. Pine nut: A high-fat nut from inside the pine cones of several pine trees. These nuts are expensive because it is labor-intensive to harvest.

34. Cacao: The cacao bean is the seed of the fruit often thought of as a culinary nut.

35. Soy nut: Soy nuts are made from whole soybeans which have been soaked in water and then baked until crisp and brown.

36. Sunflower: The nut contained inside the long black and white striped seeds from the sunflower plant.

37. Acorn: fruit of the oak tree: a smooth thin-walled nut in a woody cup-shaped base.

38. Peanut: underground pod of the peanut vine

39. Illipe: A nut yielding a fat having similar properties to cocoa butter.

40. Pandanus: Old World tropical palm like trees having huge prop roots and edible cone like fruits and leaves like pineapple leaves.

41. Java: coffee bean?

42. Mangosteens: two- to three-inch tropical fruit with juicy flesh suggestive of both peaches and pineapples.

43. Monkey nut: peanut: pod of the peanut vine containing usually 2 nuts or seeds; `groundnut' and `monkey nut' are British terms.

44. Sandalwood:

45. Guarana: is caffeine in herbal form. Guarana is between 2.5 and 5 percent caffeine, which is two and a half times the amount of caffeine in the coffee bean.

46. Akee: The fruit is pear-shaped. When it matures, it changes from green to a shiny red to yellow-orange, and breaks open to disclose three big, bright black seeds, circled by soft, creamy or sponge like, white to yellow flesh.

47. Genuip: no information found

48. Calabash: The CALABASH is a very hard pod that hangs from a small West Indian tree.

49. Betel: seed of betel palm; chewed with leaves of the betel pepper and lime as a digestive stimulant and narcotic in southeastern Asia.

50. Nutmeg: Despite the name, nutmeg is an evergreen seed that won't trigger tree nut allergies.

51. Ginkgo: A delicately sweet nut from the heart of the inedible fruit of the maidenhair tree. Particularly popular in Asian cooking.

52. English walnut: nut with a wrinkled two-lobed seed and hard but relatively thin shell; widely used in cooking.

53. Black walnuts: A highly fat walnut that is better used with other foods than out-of-hand. Used in cakes, confections, and ice cream.

Interesting Shots of Nuts

hickory nut
hickory nut
Sweet chestnut
Sweet chestnut


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    • profile image

      Jenna 3 months ago


    • profile image

      nicole taylor 4 years ago

      this is my first time ever commenting!!!!

    • profile image

      Cole 4 years ago

      What about the peanut is that one

    • profile image

      Dom 4 years ago

      Thanks. Beat my girlfriend at a nut naming game. I knew butternut was right! Ps.... She hates losing!!!

    • profile image

      savanna 5 years ago

      wow i just need ed to know what some nuts were called for a project

    • profile image

      martha 6 years ago

      I never learn all word of nuts. It is very interesting.I ate few those.

    • profile image

      Sandy 6 years ago

      You forgot the Buckeye! It's a useless nut, from the Buckeye tree. They look somewhat like a chestnut-but you can't eat them!

    • profile image

      unque collier 6 years ago

      thank about the infom on a nuts

    • profile image

      i dont know? 6 years ago

      i agree with carmen, could you possibly do a berry one?

    • profile image

      Kieron 6 years ago

      Actually, a coconut is not a nut, it is a drupe.

    • Carmen H profile image

      Carmen Beth 6 years ago

      Very informative and interesting... well done! I bookmark this hub for future reference. Could you possibly write a hub like this on berries too?

    • profile image

      Arvind 7 years ago


    • mod2vint profile image

      mod2vint 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Hi Chloe,

      It was interesting researching this. Myself I'm not a big nut fan, but my children love them of all types.

    • Chloe Comfort profile image

      Chloe Comfort 7 years ago from Long Island

      OMG - Had no idea what so ever that there were that many!!! Man, I feel like I've led a sheltered life :D

      Walnuts are my fave followed by pistachios. Gonna have to see if I can find some of the more unusual ones and give them a try.


    • mod2vint profile image

      mod2vint 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Thanks, I found it very interesting doing the research and my 5 year old was amazed.

    • elayne001 profile image

      Elayne 7 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Very interesting - I had no idea there were so many kinds of nuts. I live in Hawaii where we have so many coconuts. I eat a few almonds on a daily basis and love pecans. Aloha!