1. Family: Arecaceae Bercht. & J.Presl
    1. Cocos L.

      1. This genus is accepted, and its native range is Central Malesia to SW. Pacific.

    [PW]
    Distribution
    A single species widely cultivated throughout the tropics and warmer subtropics. Origin uncertain but said to be western Pacific (Harries 1978, Gruezo and Harries 1984, Buckley and Harries 1984) (but see below). Belize, Benin, Bismarck Archipelago, Borneo, Caroline Is., Central American Pacific Is., Chile North, Costa Rica, Fiji, Gabon, Gilbert Is., Hawaii, India, Jawa, Leeward Is., Line Is., Madagascar, Malaya, Maldives, Maluku, Marcus I., Marianas, Marquesas, Marshall Is., Mauritius, Nauru, New Guinea, Nicaragua, Niue, Ogasawara-shoto, Philippines, Phoenix Is., Puerto Rico, Queensland, Réunion, Samoa, Seychelles, Society Is., Solomon Is., Sri Lanka, Thailand, Togo, Tokelau-Manihiki, Trinidad-Tobago, Tuamotu, Tubuai Is., Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis-Futuna Is.
    General Description
    Moderate, solitary, unarmed, pleonanthic, monoecious palm, sometimes flowering while still without an emergent trunk. Stem erect, often curved or slanting, becoming bare and conspicuously ringed with leaf scars. Leaves numerous, pinnate, neatly abscising; sheath fibrous, forming a woven supportive network with a conspicuous, tongue-like extension opposite the petiole, eventually disintegrating and becoming open; petiole short to long, adaxially channelled, abaxially rounded, bearing caducous tomentum abaxially; rachis elongate, curved or straight, adaxially angled near the tip, abaxially rounded, with caducous tomentum abaxially; leaflets very numerous, single-fold, regularly arranged in one plane, usually rather stiff, linear, acuminate, usually bifid with slightly asymmetrical tips, adaxially glabrous, abaxially with abundant, dot-like scales and very small ramenta along the midrib, midrib prominent adaxially, transverse veinlets evident. Inflorescences solitary, interfoliar, axillary, branched to 1 order, protandrous; peduncle ± elliptic in cross-section, robust, elongate, bearing scattered scales; prophyll tubular, 2-keeled laterally, opening apically, becoming fibrous, tomentose, persistent, ± obscured by the leaf sheaths; peduncular bract inserted near the prophyll, very large, tubular, entirely enclosing the inflorescence until shortly before anthesis, splitting abaxially, becoming boat-shaped, beaked, thick, woody, adaxially smooth, abaxially with longitudinal, shallow grooves and caducous tomentum; rachis ±equalling the peduncle, bearing spirally arranged rachillae, each subtended by an inconspicuous triangular bract and with a swollen base; rachillae robust, ± pendulous at first, later spreading with a basal bare portion and none or a few basal triads and pairs or solitary staminate flowers distally; rachilla bracts and floral bracteoles inconspicuous. Staminate flowers ± asymmetrical, narrowly ovoid, moderate, sessile; sepals 3, distinct, rather unequal, imbricate, triangular, ± keeled; petals much longer than the sepals, thick, rather leathery, distinct, valvate, irregularly boat-shaped, acute; stamens 6, filaments rather short, distinct, awl-shaped, fleshy, ± erect, anthers deeply sagittate basally, shallowly so at the apex, elongate, medifixed, ± versatile, latrorse; pistillode with 3, slender, pointed lobes. Pollen ellipsoidal, frequently elongate and/or pyriform, usually with either slight or obvious asymmetry; aperture a distal sulcus; ectexine tectate, finely perforate, perforate and micro-channelled, or perforate-rugulate, aperture margin slightly finer; infratectum columellate; longest axis 62–70 µm [1/1]. Pistillate flowers very large, globose in bud, becoming very broadly ovoid at anthesis; sepals 3, distinct, imbricate, ± rounded; petals similar to and somewhat longer than the sepals, lacking valvate apices, very leathery; staminodal ring low, membranous, not lobed; gynoecium trilocular at the very base, triovulate, broadly ovoid, obscurely 3-angled, extremely fibrous distally, stigmas 3, very short, borne in a slight depression, ovule anatropous, very small, laterally attached. Fruit very large (except in unusual forms), ellipsoidal to broadly ovoid, indistinctly 3-angled, dull green, brown, brilliant-orange, yellow, to ivory-coloured when ripe, perianth enlarging in fruit, stigmatic remains apical; epicarp smooth, mesocarp very thick and fibrous, dry, endocarp thick and woody, ± spherical to narrow ovoid, indistinctly 3-angled, with 3 longitudinal ridges, and 3, large, slightly sunken, basal pores, each with an operculum. Seed almost always 1 only, very large, with a narrow layer of homogeneous endosperm, and a large central cavity partially filled with fluid; embryo basal, opposite one of the endocarp pores. Germination adjacent-ligular; eophyll entire, broadly lanceolate. Cytology: 2n = 32.
    Morphology
    Leaf, stems, root (Tomlinson 1961), phloem (Parthasarathy 1974, 1980), wood (Chen 1995), root (Seubert 1998a, 1998b), megasporogenesis (Reddy and Kulkarni 1989), fruit (Roth 1977, Reddy and Kulkarni 1985).
    Diagnostic
    The often slanting stems and graceful crowns of the coconut are largely responsible for palms being considered the hallmark of the tropics. Furthermore, the coconut, one of the ten most important crop trees, is the mainstay of many people.
    Biology
    Cocos nucifera is often regarded as a strand plant but it will flower and fruit in humid equatorial regions at altitudes up to 900 m above sea level. Its natural habitat may well have been strand vegetation.
    Vernacular
    Coconut
    [FTEA]

    Palmae, John Dransfield. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1994

    Habit
    Tall, solitary, unarmed, pleonanthic, monoecious tree palm; trunk with leaf-sheaths abscissing cleanly leaving leaf-scars
    Leaves
    Leaf-base with continuous reticulate sheath, with a triangular extension opposite the petiole Leaf pinnate; leaflets regular, reduplicate, entire, single-fold
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescence interfoliar, bisexual, branching to 1 order; prophyll inconspicuous, remaining between the leaf-sheaths; peduncular bract 1, conspicuous, tubular at first, then splitting longitudinally, woody, longitudinally striate, beaked; peduncle moderately long; rachillae spreading, bearing 1–few triads at the base and solitary or paired ♂ flowers distally
    Male
    Male flowers with 3 imbricate sepals, 3 valvate petals and 6 stamens; pistillode small
    Flowers
    Female flowers much larger than the ♂, subglobose, with 3 large imbricate sepals and 3 large imbricate petals; staminodal ring inconspicuous; ovary large, ± spherical, tipped by trifid sessile stigma Male flowers with 3 imbricate sepals, 3 valvate petals and 6 stamens; pistillode small
    Female
    Female flowers much larger than the ♂, subglobose, with 3 large imbricate sepals and 3 large imbricate petals; staminodal ring inconspicuous; ovary large, ± spherical, tipped by trifid sessile stigma
    Fruits
    Fruit massive, with thick fibrous mesocarp, very hard endocarp with 3 basal pores, and usually only 1 seed; endosperm hard, homogeneous, with central cavity partly filled with liquid; embryo basal
    Seeds
    Germination adjacent-ligular; seedling leaf simple.
    [PW]
    Use
    One of the most important tropical crops with a multiplicity of uses both local and commercial.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Bismarck Archipelago, Maluku, New Guinea, Philippines, Queensland, Samoa, Santa Cruz Is., Solomon Is., Tonga, Vanuatu

    Introduced into:

    Andaman Is., Angola, Ascension, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Borneo, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil Southeast, Cambodia, Cameroon, Caroline Is., Cayman Is., Central African Repu, Central American Pac, Chagos Archipelago, Chile North, China South-Central, China Southeast, Christmas I., Cocos (Keeling) Is., Colombia, Cook Is., Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Easter Is., El Salvador, Fiji, Florida, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Gilbert Is., Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gulf of Guinea Is., Hainan, Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras, India, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jawa, Kenya, Laccadive Is., Leeward Is., Lesser Sunda Is., Liberia, Line Is., Madagascar, Malaya, Maldives, Marcus I., Marianas, Marquesas, Marshall Is., Mauritius, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Mozambique, Mozambique Channel I, Myanmar, Nauru, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Nicobar Is., Nigeria, Niue, North Carolina, Ogasawara-shoto, Phoenix Is., Puerto Rico, Réunion, Senegal, Seychelles, Society Is., South Carolina, Southwest Caribbean, Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tokelau-Manihiki, Trinidad-Tobago, Tuamotu, Tubuai Is., Tuvalu, Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles, Vietnam, Wallis-Futuna Is., Windward Is., Zaïre

    Cocos L. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Glaziou, A.F.M. [20029], Brazil K000202972

    First published in Sp. Pl.: 1188 (1753)

    Accepted by

    • Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2005). World Checklist of Palms: 1-223. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.

    Literature

    Palmweb - Palms of the World Online
    • J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008
    • Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J., World Checklist of Palms
    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • F.T.A. 8: 126.
    • Sp. Pl. 1188 (1753)
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • L., Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 495 (1754)
    • Sp. Pl.: 1188 (1753)

    Sources

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Palmweb - Palms of the World Online
    Palmweb 2011. Palmweb: Palms of the World Online. Published on the internet http://www.palmweb.org. Accessed on 21/04/2013
    Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0