Pulchritude: Coconut Tree

The fruit of the coconut tree is used for a variety of culinary and cosmetic purposes, which yields milk, water, and oil. Coconut palm trees are traditionally grown and cultivated in the warm humid tropics that aid their growth. The coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) tree is believed to be native to either the Americas or Melanesia and the islands of southeast Asia. Unlike many other plants, nucifera is the only species in the Cocos genus. The coconut palm tree can grow up to 98 feet tall, with leaves that grow between 13 feet and 20 feet in length. The coconut is actually a drupe, not a nut, that has three layers with the endocarp containing the meat, and water of the coconut. The meat of the coconut is dried to create copra which is then pressed for oil or raw coconut can be used to produce oil. The meat of brown coconut is grated and strained to produce coconut milk. Coconut water is the liquid contained in the endocarp of the coconut. The name coconut is derived from the Spanish and Portuguese word for head or skull, as they felt the 3 holes on the coconut resembled a face.


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