Rainforest Plants – Coconut Palm


Family: Arecaceae

Genus: Cocos

Species: nucifera

General Description: The Coconut Palm Tree's scientific name is Cocos nucifera. It is a slender, tall tree, growing to 100 feet and topped with palm fronds at the top of the trunk. Botanists believe the Coconut Palm evolved in the Indo-Pacific Ocean region because its genetic diversity is most obvious there.

Native to Southeast Asia and the southwest Pacific, Cocos nucifera now grows in the tropics around the world. This palm is dispensed by water, which is why most Coconut Palms grace beaches where its fruit washed to shore.

Coconut palms are warm weather trees, having little tolerance for the cold. Botanists believe they cross-pollinate, with some dwarf species probably self-pollinating.

Uses: Coconut Palms are known for their wood, milk and medicinal value. Wood from the trunks provide material for building bridges (small), because they are fairly straight, strong and resistant to salt. The fruit most of us know as 'coconut' grows from the center of the fronds where the fronds attach to the trunk. Coconut milk is made from grated coconut, and adding hot water or milk; coconut oil and other compounds are extracted in this process. Coconut pulp and milk are highly nutritious, with an abundance of fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Coconut is also valued as an herbal remedy in Pakistan to treat rat bites. These fruits are used broadly in Hindu religious ceremonies, as an offering to the gods. They are also smashed on the ground or on a structure as an initiation or inauguration of a new project, much like Western civilization uses champagne on the bow of a ship. Coconut oil is used broadly in cooking, soaps and skin products; it is known for its healing properties. The oil is extracted and processed for worldwide distribution.

Coconuts have an extensive history, going back thousands of years, and are considered by many civilizations as a primary and valuable source of food.

Disclaimer: The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Any reference to medicinal use is not intended to treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease.


Source by Tony Mandarich

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