A Sea-Bean Guide

Gray Nickarbean   or   Sea Pearl
Caesalpinia bonduc

"Another name for the Caesalpinia bonduc seed specifically is Nickar Nut, from a Jamaican word 'nickar'.
Nickar seems to have come from the Dutch word 'knikker', which was a boy's baked clay marble."

Gray Nickarbean flowers

3 immature, green seeds taken from green pods.
With maturity, they shrink, harden, and turn gray.

Nearly mature, prickly, brown seed pods.

Closeup of individual beans

View of entire Nickarbean vine growing up and into trees
and showing many mature, dry, brown seed pods.

Seeds often grow two to a pod.
Photo: Maureen and Stan Zerkowski

Rarely, seeds grow 3 to a pod.
Photo: Maureen and Stan Zerkowski

  • DRIFT SEEDS by Jo Markland for a story on Drift Seeds in the UK.

  • Jung, R. 2011. Be Careful What You Wish for: The Unintended Consequences of Land Crab Eviction with Nicker-Beans.
    Drifting Seed Newsletter 17(2):5-7.
  • Nickernut - A "Wayne's Word" page

  • Caesalpinia bonduc - Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants

  • ISB: Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants - Institute for Systematic Botany (ISB)

  • Stem prickles of Caesalpinia bonduc - a UCLA page

  • Caesalpinia bonduc (gray knickers) - UVI Plant List

  • The Ocean-Traveling Nickernut - Children's education, by Emily Skelton

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