Interesting Coconut Facts

Interesting Coconut Facts

The coconut grove at Waipouli, Kaua‘i's Eastside, is seen here.

The coconut grove at Waipouli, Kaua‘i’s Eastside, is seen here.

Early Hawaiians used almost the entire coconut tree for a variety of purposes. Besides the obvious food and water reasons, coconut trees also provided materials for housing, canoe-building, religious practices, hula instruments, and the list goes on. Here are some interesting facts about this resourceful plant, gathered from The Library of Congress:

  • Every bit of the coconut is used. As a result, coconuts are called the “Tree of Life” and can produce drink, fiber, food, fuel, utensils, musical instruments and much more.
  • When intra-venous solution was in short supply, doctors during World War II and Vietnam used coconut water in substitution of IV solutions.
  • Botanically, the coconut palm is not a tree since there is no bark, no branches, or secondary growth. A coconut palm is a woody perennial monocotyledon with the trunk being the stem.
  • Possibly the oldest reference is from Cosmas, a 5th century AD Egyptian traveler. He wrote about the “Indian nut” or “nut of India” after visiting India and Ceylon, Some scholars believe Cosmas was describing a coconut.
  • Soleyman, an Arab merchant, visited China in the 9th century and describes the use of coir fiber and toddy made from coconuts.
  • In 16th century, Sir Francis Drake called coconut “nargils,” which was the common term used until the 1700s when the word coconut was established.
  • It takes 11-12 months for the coconut to mature.
  • At one time, scientists identified over 60 species of Cocos palms. Today, the coconut is a monotypic with one species, Cocos However, there are over 80 varieties of coconut palms, which are defined by characteristics such as dwarf and tall.
  • Coconut growing regions are as far north as Hawai‘i and as far south as Madagascar.

Source: The Library of Congress

By | 2016-11-10T05:40:23+00:00 September 8th, 2016|0 Comments

About the Author:

Léo Azambuja, editor of For Kaua‘i, has won multiple journalism awards in the state of Hawai‘i, including investigative and enterprise reporting, spot news and feature writing, photojournalism and online reporting.

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