Cocos nucifera: Coconut tree

Family: Arecaceae
Common name: Coconut tree

Did you know that there is a state in India named after the coconut tree? It’s Kerala, the land of coconut trees. Coconut trees are mostly seen in the Asian continent, along coastal areas since it needs good sunlight and humidity. It’s supposed to have existed in the Indian sub-continent from 1st century BC. The name ‘kalpavriksha’ in Sanskrit suggests that it provides all necessities of life.

The uses of these majestic coconut tree are endless. Their leaves are used to make roofs for thatched huts, woven baskets, brooms, skewers and also for decorations. The trunk of the coconut tree is used to make bridges, houses and furniture.

Coconut flakes or Grated coconut from the fleshy part is used in dishes and also in chocolates. Coconut water is a good source of minerals and is used in oral rehydration. Coconut oil is used in cooking and also for hair care preparations. Coconut milk and cream is used in many dishes, both savory and sweet. Coir, which is obtained from the husk of the coconut is used to make coir ropes, and is a big industry providing employment to many.

Coconut husk is used to make spoons, vessels and handicraft items. The leftover product after extracting coconut oil is used as feed for livestock. Considering all its uses, coconut tree is truly a ‘tree of life’.

Propagation is from coconuts, which, when planted sprouts into a new tree.

Photo Courtesy: Wayne Robinson, Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis, Jametlene Reskp, Conifer Handmades

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