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Cocos nucifera, photo courtesy of David Cavagnaro
Cocos nucifera, photo courtesy of David Cavagnaro

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Cocos nucifera

Coconut Palm, Niu

Edible fruit, Palms and cycads

One of the world’s best-known and most economically important palms. Its solitary trunk rises 60’100 ft. and is topped with a majestic crown of glossy, feathery fronds. Many varieties are known, with large edible fruit varying in size, shape, and color (green, yellow to orange). The plant tolerates many different soil conditions; it has excellent salt and drought tolerance and can also be found growing in brackish water. Superb for large gardens, parks, or avenues. Dwarf forms are available and more suitable for the medium-size garden; some of these reach to 10’15 ft. tall, with a feathery crown about equally wide. For queen palm, formerly called C. plumosa, see Syagrus romanzoffiana.

Requires pruning off old fronds and removing mature coconuts (which can become a hazard as they drop).

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