Coconut Facts

The scientific name for coconut is Cocos nucifera. Early Spanish explorers called it coco, which means “monkey face” because the three indentations (eyes) on the hairy nut resemble the head and face of a monkey. Nucifera means “nut-bearing.” Coconut is actually tall, erect, single-stemmed, monoecious palm, up to 30 m tall, with a slender, more or less curved or inclined, stout trunk, 30–45 cm diameter marked with leaf scars, arising rising from a swollen base surrounded by mass of adventitious roots. Like other fruits, it has three layers: the exocarp, mesocarp, and endocarp. The exocarp and mesocarp make up the “husk” of the coconut. Coconuts sold in the shops of non-tropical countries often have had the exocarp (outermost layer) removed. Coconut palms are grown all over the tropics, and their taste of meat and flavor of water therefore may vary according to saline content of the soil, distance from sea-shore, amount of rain-fall, etc.

Name Coconut
Scientific Name Cocos nucifera
Native Native to coastal areas of southeast Asia
Common/English Name Coconut, Coconut Palm
Name in Other Languages Nepalese: Narival
Ethiopia: Kokas
Turkish: Hindistancevizi
Palauan: Iru
Albania: Arre kokosi
Banaban: Te Ni
Yap: Lu
Brazil: Coco
Persian: Nârgil
Bulgarian: Kokos
Italian: Cocco
Chinese: Ye Zi
Polish: Kokos
Icelandic: Kokoshenta
Chuuk: Nu
Khmer: Doung
Dutch: Kokos
Russian: Kokos
Arabic: Gawz El Hind
South Africa: Khokhonate
Finnish: Kookospähkinä
Pohnpei: Ni
French: Coco
Ukrainian: Kokos
Japanese: Koko Yashi
Taiwan: Ke Ke Ye Zi
Guam: Niyog
Hawaii: Ō‘Io
Cook Islands: Nu
Spanish: Coco
Hebrew: Kokus
Rotuman: Niu
Vietnamese: Dừa
India: Narikol
Burmese: Mak Un On
Indonesia: Bhungkana
Czech: Kokos
Romanian: Cocotier
Kenya: Dafu
Estonian: Kookospalm
German: Kokos
Society Islands: Ha‘Ari
Kiribati: Te Ni
Guyana: Coconut
Polynesia: Niu
Croatian: Kokosov Orah
Tanzania: Dafu
Kosrae: Lu
Zaire: Dafu
Papua New Guinea: Kokonas
Laotian: Kok Mak Phao
Fijian: Niu
Swahili: Mnazi
Portuguese: Coco Da Bahia
Slovenian: Kokos
Malaysia: Kelapa
Danish: Kokos
Marshall Islands: Ni
Thai: Dung (Chong-Chan-Thaburi)
Korean: K’o K’o Neos
Sri Lanka: Polgaha
North Mariana Islands: Nizok
Swedish: Kokos
Australia: Kunga
Philippines: Lubi
Hungarian: Kókusz
Armenian: Hantkakan Engouz
Greek: Kokkofoinika
Isle of Man: Crobainery
Plant Growth Habit Tall, erect, single-stemmed, monoecious palm
Growing Climate Thrives best in full sun
Soil Adaptable to wide range of soil types light, medium and heavy, – peaty soil, sandy, calcareous, saline to clayey soils. It tolerates alkaline soils. Although coarse sand is its natural habitat, best growth is obtained on free draining, deep soils with good physical and chemical properties. It is thus widely grown on loams as well as clays that are well drained. Coconut is intolerant of water-logging will not survive more than 2 weeks of surface water-logging. Coconut tolerates drought poorly.
Plant Size 30 m (98 ft) tall
Root Fibrous root system
Trunk Slender, more or less curved or inclined, stout trunk, 30–45 cm diameter
Leaf Frond-like, 2–6 m long, clustered at top of trunk, pinnatisect
Leaflets 0.6–1 m long, narrow, linear-lanceolate, bright green, inserted on rachis in 2 ranks.
Flower The palm produces both the female and male flowers on the same inflorescence; thus, the palm is monoecious. Male flowers with six creamy-yellow perianth segments surrounding six Stamens, pistillode topped by 3 nectar glands. Female flowers, sweet-scented, larger, globose, with 6 creamy-yellow perianth segment in two whorls, with 6 staminodes, 3-locule ovary, and a trifid stigma.
Fruit Shape & Size Elongated, ovoid, ellipsoid to almost spherical
Fruit Weight Weigh between 0.85 and 3.7 kg
Fruit Color Light green when young, which becomes dry and turn gray as the nut matures
Fruit Skin About 1-2 inches in thickness and made of tough fibers.
Flesh Color White
Taste Mild and Sweet
Seed Seed comprises the dark brown shell, kernel, cavity and embryo.
Major Nutrition Total Fat (lipid) 26.79 g (76.54%)
Manganese, Mn 1.2 mg (52.17%)
Copper, Cu 0.348 mg (38.67%)
Iron, Fe 1.94 mg (24.25%)
Total dietary Fiber 7.2 g (18.95%)
Selenium, Se 8.1 µg (14.73%)
Phosphorus, P 90 mg (12.86%)
Carbohydrate 12.18 g (9.37%)
Zinc, Zn 0.88 mg (8.00%)
Valine 0.162 g (7.67%)
Health Benefits
  • Good for your heart
  • Weight management
  • Blood sugar control
  • Protects against infection
  • Improves digestion
  • Prevents skin infection
  • Promotes hair growth
  • Gives your energy levels a boost
  • Candida
  • Healing and Infections
  • Stress relief
  • Bone Health
  • Dental care
  • Boosts Hydration
  • Reduces Blood Pressure
  • Relieves Hangovers
  • Treats Headaches
Calories in 1 cup (80 gm) 283 K cal