We recently added a coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) to the tropical house of the Conservatory at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. The former coconut plant (tree) was removed more than 10 years ago because it had grown tall enough to brush against the roof glass of the Conservatory. The new palm will begin its residence in a large pot. This way we can control the root zone area for optimum culture and move the plant around to figure out the best placement before it is finally planted. Coconut palms need a lot of light.
|The new coconut palm in the conservatory at Matthaei Botanical Gardens|
Some fun facts about the coconut tree and fruit:
· The botanical name “Cocos” refers to the seed’s resemblance to a monkey face, skull, or head, while “nucifera” is Latin for nut.
· A coconut tree can live to be 100 years old and nearly that many feet tall.
· Almost every part of the coconut tree is used by some human culture in the world.
· The coconut seed is not a true (botanically speaking) nut.
· The coconut seed is the only seed containing free “water” (coconut water). Don’t confuse this thin, translucent liquid with coconut milk, which is the result of a manmade process.
· The coconut palm seed is not the largest plant seed. That distinction belongs to the double coconut – also known as Coco de Mer (Lodoicea maldivica).
Enjoy a tropical visit to the conservatory at Matthaei, where you’ll find our new coconut tree—just in time for our conservatory exhibit, “The Garden of India”—behind the pineapple plants on the right side of the central walkway as you enter the tropical house.