coconut palm Arecaceae Cocos
nucifera L. symbol: CONU
Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound, up to 18 feet long; individual leaflets, lance shaped and 2 to 3 feet long, dark green, arching, the leaf bases wrapped by a burlap-like husk.
Flower: Occur on a dense, upright slightly-branched cluster, white, appearing in spring, the whole structure wrapped in a sheath.
Fruit: A coconut, perhaps one of the best known and most useful fruits in the world. Technically a large drupe with a fibrous outer husk and a woody inner shell, which contains the white "meat" (copra) and coconut "milk", generally in clusters.
Bark: Light grayish brown, ringed, becoming more smooth with age.
Form: Tall, slender, straight tree with a gracefully curved trunk reaching up to 80 feet tall, feathery top.
Looks like: queen palm - royal palm - Canary Island date palm
Additional Range Information: Cocos nucifera is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting coconut palm.
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson