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'Coconut' a versatile fruit vegetable

Rebinson P.L.
Rebinson P.L.
October 04, 2022
'Coconut' a versatile fruit vegetable

Coconut is a fruit produced by certain trees belonging to the palm tree family ‘Arecaceae’ and its scientific name is ‘Cocos nucifera’. Botanically, coconut is not a nut, rather it is a drupe-a fleshy fruit usually with a single seed, covered by a hard shell.

Coconut is mostly used as a vegetable or along with other vegetables for cooking curries, soups, sauces, stews, etc and to make side dishes like various kinds of chutneys. Coconut is also used mainly to make oil - from the sun-dried coconut called ‘copra’- which is used for cooking and to keep hair and skin shiny and healthy; and the coconut milk - made by squeezing the grated coconut that is used for cooking, cosmetic and medicinal purposes. Moreover, the immature fruit called ‘tender coconut’ is also harvested for its water and meat or white flesh that are used as natural refreshments.

The name, ‘coconut’ is supposed to have come from ‘coco’- an old Portuguese word that means ‘head’ or ‘skull’ due to its appearance similar to a human face and head.

Coconut is supposed to have originated somewhere in the Indo-Malayan region and it is first used by the Austronesian peoples sometime between 3000 to 1500 BCE.

The coconut palm tree has only one species in the world. However, there are many cultivar varieties of the same that produce different types of coconuts. Coconut cultivar varieties are categorized into two- the tall varieties that grow up to 30 meters and the dwarf varieties which grow only up to 6 meters.

The coconut trees grow well almost in all types of soils. However, laterite, red sandy loam, alluvial and coastal sandy soils with good water holding capacity are the best ones. The trees take around 3-8 years to bear the fruits that require 8-9 months to mature and they can be harvested almost all year round, making them one of the crops available throughout the year.

Coconuts are rich in nutrients. And they contain protein, fat, sugar, carbs, fiber, selenium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, potassium, zinc and iron. Coconuts are also purported to help lose weight, control blood sugar levels, and improve immunity, digestion, and heart and brain health.

The largest producer of coconut in the world is Indonesia, followed by the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Vietnam, Mexico, Thailand and Malaysia. The largest exporter also is Indonesia followed by the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Sri Lanka, while the main importer is China, followed by Thailand, the US, Malaysia and Netherlands.

In India, Kerala is the largest producer followed by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Orissa, Gujarat and Assam.

Some of the major trading markets of coconut in India:

Kerala(Mararikulam, Kumarakom, Paravur, Alleppey)

Karnataka(Tumkur, Chitradurga, Chikmangalur,Hassan)

Tamil Nadu(Erode, Kanyakumari, Coimbatore, Thanjavur)

Names of coconut in different Indian languages:

Hindi                 Naariyal

Tamil                 Tenkay

Malayalam        Nalikeram

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which tissue makes up the husk of coconut?
    'Sclerenchymatous' tissue is the component that makes up the coconut husk.
  • Coconut water contains which hormone?
    'Cytokinins' is the hormone which is contained in coconut water.
  • How many coconut trees can be planted in an acre?
      Around 60 coconut trees can be planted in an acre.  
  • What is the average height of the coconut tree?
    The average height of a coconut tree is 25 meters.
Rebinson P.L.
Rebinson P.L.
Rebinson P.L. (@ebinso) is a self-published author, content marketing strategist, copywriter and editor who has been writing blogs, articles and advertising copies for various firms since completing his master's in English literature. He's dedicated to helping and guiding businesses of all sizes to achieve their desired reach and popularity.
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