Back to: Nature online

Seeds of Trade

 
-

Product: Coconut

Other products:  
   Coconut belongs to these categories: Fibres, Food crops
   and originated in these regions: Australia, South East Asia

 SUMMARY
 WILD RELATIVES
 ORIGINS
 EARLY USES
 TRANSFER AND SPREAD
 AGRICULTURE
 MODERN CONTEXT
  POST HARVEST


COCONUT

Cocos nucifera L. (Arecaceae, previously known as Palmae).

Given its scientific name by Carolus Linnaeus in 1753, he based his description of the plant on illustrations of early travellers and on plants growing in George Clifford's garden in the Netherlands. He thought coconuts came from India.

Native to the islands of the western Pacific, the coconut has spread to beach strands and coastal habitats throughout the world.

Life form: tree-like palm.

Parts used: fruits and seeds used for food, forage, oil and a variety of other culinary and non-food uses; foliage used as building material; stems used as wood (not a true wood).

Ploidy level: diploid.

  

A drawing in the Hermann Herbarium at the Natural History Museum, London. (Cocos nucifera L. - Coconut)