Coconut Images

Roughly ovoid, up to 15 inches (38 cm) long and 12 inches (30 cm) wide, composed of a thick, fibrous husk surrounding a somewhat spherical nut with a hard, brittle hairy shell. The nut is 6 - 8 inches (15 - 20 cm) in diameter and 10 - 12 inches (25 - 30 cm) long. Three sunken holes of softer tissue -- called "eyes" -- are at one end of the nut.

Coconut Cocos nucifera, Arecaceae, Coconut Palm, longitudinal section fruit; Botanical Garden KIT, Karlsruhe, Germany Coconut Sprouting Coconut Seedling Sprouted Coco Seeds

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Inside the shell is a thin, white, fleshy layer, about one inch thick at maturity. This layer is known as the "meat" or copra. The interior of the nut is hollow, but partially filled with a watery liquid called "coconut milk". The meat is soft and jelly-like when immature, but it becomes firm at maturity. Coconut milk is abundant in unripe fruits, but the coconut milk is gradually absorbed as ripening proceeds. The fruits are green at first, turning brownish as they mature. Yellow-fruit varieties change from yellow to brown as they mature.

Coconut Palm propagation is entirely from seed – the coconuts, which are ready for planting if they produce an audible "sloshing" sound when shaken. The nuts are placed on their sides and buried with sand or mulch to about one-half the thickness of the nut. They may be planted in closely spaced rows in well drained seedbeds, or the nuts may be planted directly into large pots. Germination is best under high temperatures (90 - 100 degrees F). Upon germination, the shoot and root emerge through the side or one end of the nut. Young palms, about 6 months old, can be transplanted directly into the field or can be grown in pots in the nursery for a few more years.

Inflorescence Inflorescense Close-up Immature coconuts

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Fruit at Community Garden Sand Island, Midway Atoll. June 10, 2008 Fruit Ripening Coconut Fruit

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The coconut palm starts fruiting 6 - 10 years after the seed germinates and reaches full production at 15-20 years of age. The tree continues to fruit until it is about 80 years old, with an annual production of 50 - 200 fruits per tree, depending on cultivar and climate. The fruits require about a year to develop and are generally produced regularly throughout the year.

Coconuts as fence Coconut palm Habit at Deering Park, Florida. November 08, 2003 Habit at Lido Beach, Florida. November 08, 2003

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Canopy at Lelekea, Maui. May 18, 2004 Trunk at Waihee, Maui. October 26, 2009 Cocos nucifera trunk

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How to open a coconut
Nut husking spot at Nahiku Marketplace, Maui. July 02, 2009 Nut husking spot at Nahiku Marketplace, Maui. July 02, 2009 Nuts at Nahiku Marketplace, Maui. July 02, 2009.

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Nut Husking at Nahiku, Market Place, Maui

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Broschat, T.K. and Crane, Jonathan H. "The Coconut Palm In Florida." This document is HS40, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Publication date Apr. 1984. Revised June 2014. Web. 16 Nov. 2014.


1 Starr, Forest and Kim.  Fruit Honokanaia, Kahoolawe. 2005. Web. 3 May 2014.
Fig. 2 Zell, H. Cocos nucifera, Arecaceae, Coconut Palm, longitudinal section fruit. Botanical Garden KIT, Karlsruhe, Germany. 2010. Web 3 May 2014.
Fig. 3,4 Cocos nucifera. N.d. Top Tropicals Tropical Plant Catalog. Web. 15 Oct. 2013.
Fig. 5 St-John, H. Cocos nucifera. N.d. University of Hawaii, Botany Department, Manoa Campus Plants.  Web. 12 Oct. 2013.
Fig. 6,7,10,11,18 Kwan. Cocos nucifera. 2009. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.
Fig.9 Starr, Forest and Kim. Fruit at Community Garden Sand Island, Midway Atoll. 2008. Web. 3 May 2014.
Fig.12 Starr, Forest and Kim. Fence made out of husks at Huelo, Maui. 2009. Web. 3 May 2014.
Fig.8, 13 Starr, Forest and Kim. Habit Kahului, Maui. 2001. Web. 3 May 2014. \
Fig.11 Starr, Forest and Kim. Leaves at Makawao, Maui. 2006. Web. 3 May 2014.
Fig.14,15 Starr, Forest and Kim. Habit at Deering Park and Lido Beach, Florida. 2003. Web. 3 May 2014.
Fig.16 Starr, Forest and Kim. Canopy at Lelekea, Maui. 2004. Web. 3 May 2014.
Fig.17,18 Starr, Forest and Kim. Trunk at Waihee, Maui. 2009. Web. 3 May 2014.
Fig. 19,20,21,22 Starr, Forest and Kim. Nut Husking at Nahiku, Market Place, Maui. 2009. Web. 3 May 2014.

Published 12 Oct. 2013 LR. Last update 16 Nov. 2015 LR
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