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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

Morphology General Habit
Tall, solitary, unarmed, pleonanthic, monoecious tree palm; trunk with leaf-sheaths abscissing cleanly leaving leaf-scars
Morphology Leaves
Leaf-base with continuous reticulate sheath, with a triangular extension opposite the petiole Leaf pinnate; leaflets regular, reduplicate, entire, single-fold
Morphology Reproductive morphology 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
sex Male
Male flowers with 3 imbricate sepals, 3 valvate petals and 6 stamens; pistillode small
Morphology Reproductive morphology 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
sex 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
Morphology Reproductive morphology 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
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Germination adjacent-ligular; seedling leaf simple.

[FSOM]

M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008] https://plants.jstor.org/collection/FLOS

Morphology General Habit
Palms solitary, unarmed, monoecious
Morphology Leaves
Leaves pinnate; blade divided into numerous single-fold reduplicate leaflets
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences branched to 1 order; flowers in groups of 3 at the base of the axis and solitary or paired in upper part
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Male flowers with 2 whorls of 3 tepals Female flowers much larger than the male, subglobose; staminodal ring inconspicuous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 6; pistillode small
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary large, ± globose, with trifid sessile stigma at apex
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit massive, with thick fibrous mesocarp and very hard endocarp with 3 basal pores, usually 1-seeded; endosperm hard with central cavity partly filled with liquid.
Note
One species only, the coconut.

[PW]
Use
One of the most important tropical crops with a multiplicity of uses both local and commercial.

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, South China Sea, 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

  • Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J., World Checklist of Palms
  • J. Dransfield & N. Uhl & C. Asmussen & W.J. Baker & M. Harley & C. Lewis, Genera Palmarum. The evolution and classification of palms. 2008

Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia

  • WCVP (2021). World Checklist of Vascular Plants, version 2.0. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://wcvp.science.kew.org/ Retrieved 28 April 2021

Flora of West Tropical Africa

  • F.T.A. 8: 126.
  • Sp. Pl. 1188 (1753)

Flora of Somalia

  • Flora Somalia, Vol 4, (1995) Author: by M. Thulin [updated by M. Thulin 2008]

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • L., Gen. Pl., ed. 5: 495 (1754)
  • Sp. Pl.: 1188 (1753)

Flora of Somalia
Flora of Somalia
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

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

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
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 2021. 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 2021. 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