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Coconut Palm

 

The Coconut Palm Tree, scientific name Cocos nucifera, is one of the most popular palms in the world. 
It is also known as Malayan Coconut Palm, Coconut Palm, Green Malayan Palm. It is native to the Malay 
Archipelago or the South Pacific. 

Growth Rate: Fast to Moderate
Height: up to 50 – 60ft
Light Requirements: full sun
Water Requirements: moderate
Cold Tolerance: down to 20 – 30F

 Description

In its native habitat the Coconut Palm grows up to 100 ft, but usually is around 50ft tall and 25ft wide in cultivation. 
Cocos nucifera has a smooth single gray trunk that is ringed with old leaf scars. Mature palms become smooth with 
age. Trunk is a little swollen at the base and is usually slightly curved.
It is topped with a crown of 25 – 30 pinnate, or feather-shaped, leaves that can grow up to 18 feet long and 6 feet wide. 
Leaves are large, about 18ft long and 6ft wide, with 200 leaflets 2ft long. Leaf life span of the leaf may be 2.5 – 3 
years, and mature, healthy palms form a new one and drop the oldest one each month.
When about 4-6 years of age, during spring the Coconut Palm starts producing sweet-scented yellow flowers. Flowers
grow in clusters and are held by slightly branched stalks. Male and female flowers grow on the same inflorescence. 
They are generally protandrous, male flowers release pollen before females become receptive.
Flowers are followed by also called “coconuts”. Coconut is one of the most recognizable and most useful fruits in the 
world. They range in color from green, to yellow, or bronze-gold, to brown depending on maturity and variety. Fruits 
are oval, 3-angled, 12 inches long and 10 inches wide, with single seed inside. The Coconut Palm seeds are one of 
the largest of any plant. After maturing it takes a full year for the coconut to ripe.

 The Fruit

Fruits start developing when plant is around 6-10 years old and can grow up to 18 inches long and 15 inches wide. 
It takes a fruit around 12 months to fully ripe. Fruit is green color that turns into brown as it matures but some 
varieties produce yellow fruit that later turns brown. There is a nut inside of the fruit, filled with a layer of white 
coconut “meat” and sweet watery milk. The tree can bares fruits all year long with an annual production 
around 50-200 coconuts per palm tree, depending on growing conditions and palm variety.

Growing Habits

Coconut Palm likes warm climate and cannot tolerate temperature below 30F without getting injured. It grows best 
in the moist well drained soil but can tolerate drought. The average temperature should be around 72F with a lot of 
rainfalls. The Coconut Palms grow at a fast to moderate rate, depending on the variety and the climate and may 
live as long as 100 years, producing fruits till 80 years of age. The fruit is very popular and commonly used all over 
the world. Coconut oil is used for cooking and in a wide range of beauty products.