Coconut Palms (Cocos nucifera)
The Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the
Family Arecaceae (palm family). It is the only species in
the genus Cocos, and is a large palm, growing to 30 m tall,
with pinnate leaves 4–6 m long, pinnae 60–90 cm long;
Coconut germinating on Black Sand Beach, Island of Hawaii
old leaves break away cleanly leaving the trunk smooth.
The term coconut refers to the seed of the coconut palm.
An alternate spelling is cocoanut.
The coconut palm is grown throughout the tropical
world, for decoration as well as for its many culinary and
non-culinary uses; virtually every part of the coconut
palm has some human uses.
The coconut has spread across much of the tropics,
probably aided in many cases by seafaring people. The
fruit is light and buoyant and presumably spread signi-
ficant distances by marine currents. Fruits collected
from the sea as far north as Norway have been found to
be viable (and subsequently germinated under the right
conditions). In the Hawaiian Islands, the coconut is re-
garded as a Polynesian introduction, first brought to the
islands by early Polynesian voyagers from their home-
lands in the South Pacific. They are now almost ubiquit-
ous between 26°N and 26°S.
The flowers of
the coconut palm are poly-
gamomonoecious, with both male and female flowers in
the same inflorescence. Flowering occurs continuously,
with female flowers producing seeds. Coconut palms are
believed to be largely cross-pollinated, although some
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dwarf varieties are self-pollinating. Coconuts also come
with a liquid that is clear like water but sweet. The "Nut"
of the coconut is edible and is in the shape of a ball or is
on the inside sides of the coconut.