Coconut Tree

Genus: Cocos
Species: nucifera
Parts used: the nut and leaves

Some people believe that this coconut palm is the symbol of romance in the tropics.People associate the coconut palm with relaxation and shade looking out over the sea to the horizon similiar tall trees grow to be 50-80 feet. There are many varieties of coconut trees. The smallest is called the Dwarf palm. They all have a tall graceful trunks topped by a crown light feathery leaves that are 15-17 feet long. The leaves are a yellow greenish color. The trucks are light gray.

The coconut grows in rainforests and other tropical of climates. The coconut fruit has a hard outside and white meat beneath with a hollow center in which there is coconut milk. After the clusters of flowers bloom they develop into coconuts. It may take a year or so for the coconut tree to mature. One tree can produce 50 nuts. Men harvest the coconuts by climbing the tree and cutting down the bunch of coconuts.

The coconut palm tree grows in hot areas. It likes frost free areas, and grows in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Pacific region. The tree grows near seas in these areas so the roots can find moisture. In the United States it is found only in Hawaii, the Southern tip of Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Coconuts have supplied some families from the Pacific with shelter, food, drinks, and many of their other needs. The roots supplies's a dye and the trunks are used to stabilize buildings. The hard outside is cut into slices of wood called Porcupine wood. The white meat of the coconut is eaten. They get coconut cream by sifting the white meat till it turns soft and creamy. They use the liquid for a nice refreshing drink. The sap from unopened clusters of flowers is used to make sugar, vinegar, and the alcoholic beverage called arrack. Mats, baskets, and hats are all made out of the leaves, midrib, and Coir. Coir is the fiber from the husk. To make matting they export Coir to other countries.

The dried meat of the coconut is called Copra. Oil is pressed from Copra. After pressing out all the edible oil the leftover meat and cake makes good cattle feed. It's good because it contains protein, sugar, and vitamins.

The major uses for the oil of the coconut is soaps and margarine. The dried meat can be used in candies, cake, cookies, and pies.

The coconut palm likes to live in fall sun and frost free areas. It likes water but it has to be well drained areas. It has shallow roots.

by Jessica F. 2001



Harold F. Winters. "Coconut." New Book of Knowledge. 1998 ed.

"Coconut Tree (Cocus nucifera",, [Nov 2000].

"Floridata: Cocos nucifera",, [Nov 2000].