1) Plant History & General Information:
- Location on Property: Garden U,
Scientific & Other Names: Cocos nucifera
- Region of Origin: Many authorities suggest an Indo-Pacific origin either around Melanesia or the Indian Ocean, while others see the origin in northwestern South America. The oldest fossils known of the modern coconut dating from the Eocene period from around 37 to 55 million years ago were found in Australia and India. However, older palm fossils such as some of nipa fruit have been found in the Americas.
- General History: Coconut palms feature in Indian writings dating back more than 2,000 years. Consequently, coconuts play an important role in Indian ritual and features in Indian mythology. For example, coconuts resemble a human head with three marks on its shell like eyes and a mouth and fiber-like hair. It was known as sriphala or the fruit of the gods and cutting the tree was abhorred.
- Type of Plant: Edible
2) Plant Uses:
- As Food: The meat and water within its fruit are rich resources of nutrients. Native cultures in Asia, Pacific Islands, South America, and limited parts of North America use coconut fruit as a staple in their diets. Some popular coconut products are its coconut meat, oil, milk, water, wine, and vinegar.
- As Medicine:
- Other Uses: Parts of the coconut palm, as well as the exterior layers of its fruit, are turned into several products, from simple kitchen tools and utensils to strong structures – for both humans and animals. Some of these coconut parts include its husks, shells, leaves, trunk, and roots.
- The physical properties and nutrients of coconuts can vary depending on their maturity. Young coconuts have either a white husk or a green shell and possess larger amounts of coconut water and softer meat. On the other hand, mature coconuts, the brown and hairy variety, have less water and firmer meat.
- Whether they’re young or mature, coconuts are considered the “plant of life” due to their astounding commercial and domestic uses.
3) Growing Instructions
- Growing: Young coconut palms grow rapidly, and their multiple leaves will develop into a trunk in about five years. Afterwards, flower clusters will begin to be formed in the axil of each leaf. Then a few weeks after flowering, many immature fruits will drop from the cluster. Meanwhile, those that remain, grow rapidly, reaching mature size in six months and becoming fully ripened in nine months. Also, a good-sized mature nut in its husk weighs about 6 lb, and a healthy tree produces 50 nuts per year.
- Best time to Harvest: BEST Season: October – December
- Sunlight Requirements: Coconuts require full sun to grow properly. Therefore, you should give them as much sun as possible.
- Soil Requirements: Coconuts are not particular to their soil, but do prefer a very well drained, sandy soil. A standard palm mixture is a good idea.
- Propagation: To sprout a coconut palm, bury the nut halfway in soil or sand and keep it warm and moist for up to six months. Eventually, you’ll see a small green sprout emerge from the top of the nut. For the first year or so, the coconut plant will continue to draw nutrients from the nut itself. Unfortunately, few temperate-zone coconuts are able to outgrow this initial burst of nutrients.
- Controlling Spread: Coconut trees cannot be girdled to control spread. Must be felled.
- Difficulties with this plant: /
History of this Plant at Hedonisia:
- Lots of young coconuts to harvest! Most of them have delicious coconut water in them, though some are full of nothing.