coconut palm

Cocos nucifera



Fruit. Classified as a drupe. A drupe is a fruit with a hard covering enclosing the seed. Drupes have 3 layers: the outer layer called the exocarp (smooth and usually greenish in coconuts), the fleshy middle layer called mesocarp (the husk in coconuts), and the hard woody layer called the endocarp that surrounds the seed. The white meat inside the coconut is called the endosperm. It is the part of the seed that supplies nourishment so that the seed can germinate. There are 3 germination holes on the endocarp (woody layer) where the seed sprouts.

There is only one species of coconut but there are over 80 varieties. Although called a palm tree, the coconut tree is technically not a tree. It has no bark, no branches or secondary growth. It is basically a stem with leaves.

Other Common Names
tree of life