Coconut palm

Cocos nucifera

The coconut palm, ''Cocos nucifera'', is a member of the family Arecaceae . It is the only accepted species in the genus ''Cocos''. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which, botanically, is a drupe, not a nut. The spelling cocoanut is an archaic form of the word. The term is derived from 16th century Portuguese and Spanish ''cocos'', meaning "grinning face", from the three small holes on the coconut shell that resemble human facial features.

Found throughout the tropic and subtropic area, the coconut is known for its great versatility as seen in the many domestic, commercial, and industrial uses of its different parts. Coconuts are part of the daily diet of many people. Coconuts are different from any other fruits because they contain a large quantity of "water" and when immature they are known as tender-nuts or jelly-nuts and may be harvested for drinking. When mature they still contain some water and can be used as seednuts or processed to give oil from the kernel, charcoal from the hard shell and coir from the fibrous husk. The endosperm is initially in its nuclear phase suspended within the coconut water. As development continues, cellular layers of endosperm deposit along the walls of the coconut, becoming the edible coconut "flesh". When dried, the coconut flesh is called copra. The oil and milk derived from it are commonly used in cooking and frying; coconut oil is also widely used in soaps and cosmetics. The clear liquid coconut water within is a refreshing drink. The husks and leaves can be used as material to make a variety of products for furnishing and decorating. It also has cultural and religious significance in many societies that use it.

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Playa Macao. República Dominicana.  Coconut palm,Cocos nucifera,Dominican Republic,Geotagged,beach,palm trees

Appearance

The coconut palm is grown throughout the tropics for decoration, as well as for its many culinary and nonculinary uses; virtually every part of the coconut palm can be used by humans in some manner and has significant economic value. Coconuts' versatility is sometimes noted in its naming. In Sanskrit, it is ''kalpa vriksha'' . In the Malay language, it is ''pokok seribu guna'' . In the Philippines, the coconut is commonly called the "tree of life".
Coconut Tree I wonder if all Coconut trees around the world are of the same species or could there be a sub-species.  There are indeed different types of coconut fruit of different sizes and taste :D Coconut,Coconut palm,Cocos nucifera,Maldives,Tree

Naming

One of the earliest mentions of the coconut also dates back to the One Thousand and One Nights story of Sinbad the Sailor, he is known to have bought and sold coconuts during his fifth voyage. ''Tenga'', its Malayalam name, was used in the detailed description of coconut found in ''Itinerario'' by Ludovico di Varthema published in 1510 and also in the later ''Hortus Indicus Malabaricus''. Even earlier it was called ''nux indica'', a name used by Marco Polo in 1280 while in Sumatra, taken from the Arabs who called it جوز هندي ''jawz hindī''. Both names translate to "Indian nut". In the earliest description of the coconut palm known, given by Cosmos of Alexandria in his ''Topographia Christiana'' written about 545 A.D., there is a reference to the argell tree and its drupe.

Historical evidence favors the European origin of the name "coconut", for there is nothing similar in any of the languages of India, where the Portuguese first found the fruit; and indeed Barbosa, Barros, and Garcia, in mentioning the Malayalam name ''tenga'', and Canarese ''narle'', expressly say, "we call these fruits quoquos", "our people have given it the name of coco", and "that which we call coco, and the Malabars temga".

The OED states: "Portuguese and Spanish authors of the 16th c. agree in identifying the word with Portuguese and Spanish ''coco'' "grinning face, grin, grimace", also "bugbear, scarecrow", cognate with ''cocar'' "to grin, make a grimace"; the name being said to refer to the face-like appearance of the base of the shell, with its three holes. According to Losada, the name came from Portuguese explorers, the sailors of Vasco da Gama in India, who first brought them to Europe. The coconut shell reminded them of a ghost or witch in Portuguese folklore called ''coco'' . The first known recorded usage of the term is 1555.

The specific name ''nucifera'' is Latin for "nut-bearing".
Coconut palm  Coconut palm,Cocos nucifera,Dominican Republic,Geotagged,ocean,palm tree

Distribution

{| class="infobox" style=" font-size: 88%; text-align: left; width: 22em; line-height: 1.5em"
|+ style="font-size: 125%; font-weight: bold" | coconut water

! colspan=2 style="text-align: center" | Nutritional value per 100 g

|- style="background-color: #e0e0e0"
! Energy
| 19 kcal
|-
! Carbohydrates
| 3.71
|-

! - Sugars
| 2.61
|-

! - Dietary fiber
| 1.1
|-

! Fat
| 0.2
|-






! Protein
| 0.72
|-


















! Water
| 95
|-







| Thiamine
| 0.03 mg
|-
| Riboflavin
| 0.057 mg
|-
| Niacin
| 0.08 mg
|-

| Vitamin B6
| 0.032 mg
|-



| Vitamin C
| 2.4 mg
|-





| Calcium
| 24 mg
|-
| Iron
| 0.29 mg
|-
| Magnesium
| 25 mg
|-

| Phosphorus
| 20 mg
|-
| Potassium
| 250 mg
|-

| Zinc
| 0.1 mg
|-




|- style="background-color: #e0e0e0; font-size: 90%; text-align: center; padding: 4pt; line-height: 1.25em"
| colspan=2 | Percentages are relative toUS recommendations for adults.Source:
|}

The coconut has spread across much of the tropics, probably aided in many cases by seafaring people. Coconut fruit in the wild are light, buoyant and highly water resistant, and evolved to disperse significant distances via marine currents. Specimens have been collected from the sea as far north as Norway. In the Hawaiian Islands, the coconut is regarded as a Polynesian introduction, first brought to the islands by early Polynesian voyagers from their homelands in Oceania. They have been found in the Caribbean and the Atlantic coasts of Africa and South America for less than 500 years, but evidence of their presence on the Pacific coast of South America predates Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas. They are now almost ubiquitous between 26°N and 26°S except for the interiors of Africa and South America.
Coconut palm  Coconut palm,Cocos nucifera,Dominican Republic,Geotagged

Behavior

Researchers from the Melbourne Museum in Australia observed the octopus species ''Amphioctopus marginatus use of tools, specifically coconut shells, for defense and shelter. The discovery of this behavior was observed in Bali and North Sulawesi in Indonesia between 1998 and 2008....hieroglyph snipped... ''Amphioctopus marginatus'' is the first invertebrate known to be able to use tools.

A coconut can be hollowed out and used as a home for a rodent or small birds. Halved, drained coconuts can also be hung up as bird feeders, and after the flesh has gone, can be filled with fat in winter to attract tits.
Coconuts Still life. Coconut palm,Cocos nucifera,Dominican Republic,Geotagged

Habitat

The coconut palm thrives on sandy soils and is highly tolerant of salinity. It prefers areas with abundant sunlight and regular rainfall , which makes colonizing shorelines of the tropics relatively straightforward. Coconuts also need high humidity for optimum growth, which is why they are rarely seen in areas with low humidity, like the southeastern Mediterranean or Andalusia, even where temperatures are high enough .

Coconut palms require warm conditions for successful growth, and are intolerant of cold weather. Optimum growth is with a mean annual temperature of 27 °C , and growth is reduced below 21 °C . Some seasonal variation is tolerated, with good growth where mean summer temperatures are between 28 and 37 °C , and survival as long as winter temperatures are above 4–12 °C ; they will survive brief drops to 0 °C . Severe frost is usually fatal, although they have been known to recover from temperatures of −4 °C . They may grow but not fruit properly in areas with insufficient warmth, such as Bermuda.

The conditions required for coconut trees to grow without any care are:
⤷ mean daily temperature above 12–13°C every day of the year
⤷ mean yearly rainfall above 1000 mm
⤷ no or very little overhead canopy, since even small trees require direct sun

The main limiting factor for most locations which satisfy the rainfall and temperature requirements is canopy growth, except those locations near coastlines, where the sandy soil and salt spray limit the growth of most other trees.
Nice beach. Saona Island.  Coconut palm,Cocos nucifera,Dominican Republic,Geotagged

Food

Coconut can be a food allergen although its prevalence varies from country-to-country. While coconut is one of the top-five food allergies in India where it is a common food source, such allergies to coconut are considered rare in Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. As a result, commercial extracts of coconut are not currently available for skin prick testing in Australia or New Zealand.

Despite a low prevalence of allergies to coconut in the U.S., the U.S. Food and Drug Administration began identifying coconuts in October 2006. Based on FDA guidance and federal U.S. law, coconut must be disclosed as an ingredient.
Boats. Playa Las Terrenas. Dominican Republic.  Coconut palm,Cocos nucifera,Dominican Republic,Geotagged

Defense

In some parts of the world , trained pig-tailed macaques are used to harvest coconuts. Training schools for pig-tailed macaques still exist both in southern Thailand, and in the Malaysian state of Kelantan. Competitions are held each year to find the fastest harvester.
palmeres  Coconut palmCocos nucifera,Cocos nucifera,Dominican Republic,Geotagged

Uses

The coconut palm is grown throughout the tropics for decoration, as well as for its many culinary and nonculinary uses; virtually every part of the coconut palm can be used by humans in some manner and has significant economic value. Coconuts' versatility is sometimes noted in its naming. In Sanskrit, it is ''kalpa vriksha'' . In the Malay language, it is ''pokok seribu guna'' . In the Philippines, the coconut is commonly called the "tree of life".Coconuts may help benign prostatic hyperplasia. In rats, virgin coconut oil reduced total cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids, LDL, and VLDL cholesterol levels and increased HDL cholesterol in serum and tissues. The hexane fraction of coconut peel may contain novel anticancer compounds. Young coconut juice has estrogen-like characteristics. Inside a coconut is a cavity filled with coconut water, which is sterile until opened. It mixes easily with blood, and was used during World War II in emergency transfusions. It can also serve as an emergency short-term intravenous hydration fluid. This is possible because the coconut water has a high level of sugar and other salts that makes it possible to be used in the bloodstream, much like the modern lactated Ringer solution or a dextrose/water solution as an intravenouus solution . Coconut is also commonly used as a traditional remedy in Pakistan to treat bites from rats. In Brazil, coconut is known as ''coco-da-bahia'', ''coco-da-baía'' or ''coqueiro-da-índia''. The tea from the husk fiber is widely used to treat several inflammatory disorders.The leftover fiber from coconut oil and coconut milk production, coconut meal, is used as livestock feed. The dried calyx is used as fuel in wood-fired stoves. Coconut water is traditionally used as a growth supplement in plant tissue culture/micropropagation. The smell of coconuts comes from the 6-pentyloxan-2-one molecule, known as delta-decalactone in the food and fragrance industries.
Saona Island.  Palm tree. Beach,Coconut palm,Cocos nucifera,Dominican Republic,Geotagged,boat,palm tree

Cultural

In the Ilocos region of northern Philippines, the Ilocano people fill two halved coconut shells with ''diket'' , and place ''liningta nga itlog'' on top of it. This ritual, known as ''niniyogan'',d is an offering made to the deceased and one's ancestors. This accompanies the ''palagip'' .

A coconut is an essential element of rituals in Hindu tradition. Often it is decorated with bright metal foils and other symbols of auspiciousness. It is offered during worship to a Hindu god or goddess. Irrespective of their religious affiliations, fishermen of India often offer it to the rivers and seas in the hopes of having bountiful catches. Hindus often initiate the beginning of any new activity by breaking a coconut to ensure the blessings of the gods and successful completion of the activity. The Hindu goddess of well-being and wealth, Lakshmi, is often shown holding a coconut. In the foothills of the temple town of Palani, before going to worship Murugan for the Ganesha, coconuts are broken at a place marked for the purpose. Every day, thousands of coconuts are broken, and some devotees break as many as 108 coconuts at a time as per the prayer. In tantric practices, coconuts are sometimes used as substitutes for human skulls.

In Hindu wedding ceremonies, a coconut is placed over the opening of a pot, representing a womb. Coconut flowers are auspicious symbols and are fixtures at Hindu and Buddhist weddings and other important occasions. In Kerala, coconut flowers must be present during a marriage ceremony. The flowers are inserted into a barrel of unhusked rice and placed within sight of the wedding ceremony. Similarly in Sri Lanka, coconut flowers, standing in brass urns, are placed in prominent positions.

The Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club of New Orleans traditionally throws hand-decorated coconuts, the most valuable of Mardi Gras souvenirs, to parade revelers. The "Tramps" began the tradition ''circa'' 1901. In 1987, a "coconut law" was signed by Gov. Edwards exempting from insurance liability any decorated coconut "handed" from a Zulu float.

The coconut is also used as a target and prize in the traditional British fairground game "coconut shy". The player buys some small balls which he throws as hard as he can at coconuts balanced on sticks. The aim is to knock a coconut off the stand and win it.

It is the main food of adherents of a Vietnamese religion Đạo Dừa in Ben Tre, which syncretic Buddhism, Christianity and Taoism.

References:

Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

Taxonomy
KingdomPlantae
DivisionAngiosperms
ClassMonocots
OrderArecales
FamilyArecaceae
GenusCocos
SpeciesC. nucifera