Before we get into the life cycle of a coconut palm tree, we want to give you an introduction to this magical fruit!
First, we want to clear the air — coconuts are not really nuts… they are drupes. A drupe is a type of fruit in which an outer fleshy part surrounds a shell (or a pit) with seeds inside. Some examples of drupes are peaches, cherries, plums, pecans, and almonds!
Coconut palm trees are grown in over 90 countries of the world, with a total production of 61 millions tons a year. However, most of the production is in tropical Asia. No one knows exactly when the first coconut came from a palm tree, but scientists say the oldest coconut fossils were found up to 55 million years ago.
Now widely available all over the world, coconuts provide many culinary and non-culinary uses. Coconuts provide us with food, water, construction material, and even sustainable materials and energy. In fact, virtually every part of the coconut palm can be used by humans in some manner and has significant economic value.
The life cycle of a coconut palm tree
Photo courtesy of Coconut Handbook
Most often identified by its towering height and production of coconuts, coconut palm trees take a long time to reach full maturity. If you’re interested in the life cycle of a coconut palm tree, keep reading!
The growth of a coconut palm tree starts with germination of the seed. On beaches in and in jungles,
where coconuts grow naturally, the process starts when a coconut falls from a tree and becomes partially buried into the soil below. After several weeks to months, the outer husk of the coconut begins to split. This is when roots shoot out of the bottom of the coconut and a palm tree begins to break out of the top of the seed.
Newly Sprouted Plant
Once a coconut seed puts down roots and begins to sprout, it grows quickly. Within just a couple months of sprouting, the palm fronds can reach 2 to 3 feet in length. This is also when the trunk grows taller and starts to increase in width.
After five to seven years, the tree begins to flower. Compared to other plants, palm flowers are tiny. But, they make up for their size by growing in large clusters called inflorescences. These tiny flowers produce fruits, which become fully formed coconuts after about nine months. The ideal time to harvest is about 7.5 months after a flower blooms. Once they are fully ripened, the coconuts drop to the ground. A typical coconut harvest is every 23 days, equating to 15 harvests a year. One coconut palm tree produces 15 coconuts per harvest, the equivalent to 150 coconuts per tree, per year.
Overall, the life cycle of a coconut palm tree is long and fruitful (pun intended). If you are looking for a good coconut water to try, look no further than Taste Nirvana! Our award-winning taste sets us apart from others. We use the most premium, supreme varietal of naturally sweet coconuts called “Nam Hom”, which translates to “Fragrant Water” Thai coconuts. Sweetly crisp and refreshing – every Taste Nirvana offering is approved by the experienced taste buds of our multi-generational Thai family business.
If you have any questions or comments, we would love to read your responses in the comments below!