Coconut palm (Fijian: Niadamu)

Cocos nucifera (Arecaceae)

Characteristics

Stems up to 20 m tall, erected or leaning, smooth. Trunk usually somewhat swollen at the base (80 cm), upper diameter about 40 cm. Leaves up to 5 m long. Immature fruits green, yellow or bronzy red. Mature fruits brown.

Distribution

Attributed to Asiatic tropics but now spontaneous and wild around the world and constituting the palm scenery on the littorals of many lands; extensively planted for the yield of edible fruits.

Natural Medical Properties

The stem is scraped and squeezed to produce a liquid given for weakness after childbirth. The juice of the midrib at the lower base of the leaf is strained and given to remedy maternal postpartum illness. Coconut milk produced by grating and squeezing the flesh is used to treat fish poisoning.

Did you know?

Botanically, the fruit of the coconut palm is a drupe (stone fruit), not a nut. The hard, hairy, brown coconut we can buy in the supermarket is botanically analog to the stone of a cherry.

Further reading:

Literature

World Flora Online
WorldChecklist of Selected Plant Families
A working list of all plant species