Getting to Know Pachira Aquatica
A “money tree” is actually multiple Pachira aquatica trees painstakingly braided together during growth. Pachira aquatica is a broadleaf evergreen native to Central and South America and has many common names including Malabar chestnut, Guiana chestnut, French peanut, saba nut, monguba, pumpo, provision tree, and wild kapok tree.
In the wild, Pachira aquatica can grow up to 59 feet tall. A braided money tree plant can be anywhere between one and eight feet tall.
You might expect that the symbolism of the money tree goes back centuries. In reality, the first modern money tree was cultivated in Taiwan as a bonsai by a truck driver in the 1980s! It quickly became a symbol of prosperity and highly sought after by Feng Shui practitioners.
Symbolism and Feng Shui of The Money Tree
A legend was born along with the cultivation of the money tree:
A man who was down on his luck prayed for prosperity, and soon discovered the money tree and took it home. He soon realized that from its seeds he could cultivate many more trees. He made a business selling these beautiful trees to others and made his fortune.
That is why the money tree is a popular gift in East Asian culture, in business as well as personal affairs.
In Feng Shui, there are several plants that can be used to promote abundance, but the money tree is favorable in many ways.
The braided trunk of the Chinese money tree is said to be able to trap fortune within its folds. The five leaves typically found on a stalk are said to represent the five elements of balance: earth, fire, water, wind, and metal. Finding a stalk with seven leaves is incredibly rare, and also said to bring immense luck to the owner.
In terms of placement, many businesses keep a small money tree near their cash register. Within the home, the most common placement to promote wealth is the southeast corner.