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  • The coconut tree is a member of the family Arecaceae and the only species of the genus Cocos

Coconut facts

  • The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm or 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 the 16th-century Portuguese and Spanish word coco meaning "head" or "skull", from the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features
  • Coconuts are known for their great versatility, as evidenced by many traditional uses, ranging from food to cosmetics
  • They form a regular part of the diets of many people in the tropics and subtropics
  • Coconuts are distinct from other fruits for their large quantity of "water", and when immature, they are known as tender-nuts or jelly-nuts and may be harvested for their potable coconut water
  • 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

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