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The argan is best known by the argan oil that is extracted from its seeds. Argan oil is quite expensive (around €100,- per litre) and is therefore sometimes called ‘liquid Moroccan gold’. This because of the rarity of the trees (only occurs in south-western Morocco and a small part of Algeria) and the labour-intensity of the crop. The oil is used in the Moroccan kitchen for dipping bread and e.g. to sprinkle salads and couscous, while the cosmetic industry has also discovered the oil as an effective means to treat the skin. The tree is well protected by the local population due to the high price of its product yields. In nature, the tree can grow up to 8 or sometimes even 10 meters high and reach an age between 150-200 years old. The species can be kept as a container plant at a minimum temperature of -5 degrees Celsius. The plant is resistant to drought and high temperatures, and it likes a sunny spot to stand in.
Soak seeds in lukewarm water for 3 to 4 days. Then sow them in sowing mix at 25-30 degC. Keep the soil constantly moist. Germination can take several weeks to months.
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Photo 2: Bjorn Christian Torrissen (CCA-3.0 Wikipedia)
Photo 3: Owen Morse