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Terminalia kumpaja – Pindan Walnut (seed)

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Terminalia kumpaja is an Australian species of the Combretaceae. Grows along the coast in sandy soils, up to 5-6m in height, more spreading than T. cunninghamii.

This variation of the Pindan Walnut has been removed from Terminalia cunninghamii, and is now called T.kumpaja, after an indigenous name for this species. Info At North West Plants.

The Pindan walnut (Terminalia cunninghamii and T. kumpaja), also known as the “Kalumburu almond,” is native to the north western coast of Australia above the Tropic of Capricorn. Known and used by indigenous Australians for tens of thousands of years, it is a relatively recent discovery by Europeans. The local Karajarri people call the nut “Kumpaja.” Eaten raw, the kernel of the nut tastes like almond, but when roasted it tastes like cashew nuts. It is mostly eaten raw. Around thickets of wild trees, it is not unusual to find a carpet of nutshells next to a stone “anvil” with a depression in it and stone “hammers” nearby used to conveniently crack the nuts. It is largely harvested from the wild, with no necessity for picking. When ripe, the nuts fall from the trees, where they can remain on the ground and viable for many months, even years in drier areas. For this reason, the nut is an important and prized food as it is available virtually all year round. Info from Slow Food.

Care and Cultivation of Terminalia kumpaja

Terminalia kumpaja seeds have a physical dormancy and will need to be nicked, sanded or filed to encourage germination. With no treatment, you can expect to wait 6 months to 2 years or more until the embryo can imbibe water and start the germination process. The seed is surrounded by a dry flesh that can be sanded off. You can soak the dry fruit for a few days in water and then rub the flesh off. NOTE: these days I do this step for you and you should just follow the treatment below for penetrating the hard seed coat.

Inside the seed is a much smaller ‘nut’, about the size and length of an almond which is the actual part of the seed that contains the embryo and from whence forth your plant will grow. To encourage germination, you need to just expose this inner ‘almond’ by filing the shell with a rasp, or cracking in a vice, etc, be careful. No wonder they can take a long time to germinate with no treatment!

Terminalia kumpaja seeds can be planted half submerged to just under the surface of a well drained potting mix. Keep moist and warm until germination, which may take up to 3 months (depending on how well you file down the seed coat). A drought tolerant, beautiful and hardy species. Can be prone to damping off in the first few months so keep an eye on them and don’t overwater.

2 seeds per packet (herbs postage is necessary due to the size of the seeds)



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