Coconut Palm Appearance
The Coconut palm tree has a large, straight, smooth, unbranched trunk and a crown of fronds at the top. The columnar trunk is a light grey to brown in color. The trunk bulges slightly and shows its roots at the base.
The world’s most useful palm is very tall. The Cocos nucifera can grow to 70-100 feet in height.
The palm has long, pinnate (feather-shaped), spiness leaves that are 13-20 feet long. This tree is self-cleaning. It means that the palm sheds its leaves regularly.
The Coconut palm begins flowering after five to seven years and continuously produces flowers. The coconut palm forms the branched inflorescenses that emerge from the canopy among the leaves. The flowers smell wonderful. The tree has about 15-40 branchlets. The inflorescences can be very long and reach 3-6 feet in length.
The palm has both male and female flowers on the same inflorescence. The flowers are light yellow in color. Female flowers are larger and produce seeds. The insects are attracted by the smell and nectar of these sweet flowers.
The pollen can be distributed by insects or by the wind. The palm is not self- pollinated, the male flowers mature before the female flowers do, and they can’t pollinate each other.
The Coconut palm tree forms large, oval and round shaped fruits that are 15 inches long. They are green in color. The drupe (coconut) is composed of a thick fibrous husk on the outer part and a hard inner layer that surrounds a large seed inside. The inner layer is thin, fleshy and white and called meat or copra. The white meat of immature fruits is soft and resembles a gelatin and jelly. Mature fruits develop firm tissues.
The inner layer contains three germination pores at one end and through one of these pores the sprouting palm grows.
The seed looks like a nut. It has spherical shape and a very hard shell. The nut can be 10 inches long. The nut is filled with a sweet liquid called coconut water (don’t confuse with coconut milk). Young coconuts contain a lot of coconut water. Then slowly develop that into solid tissues.
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