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Coconut palm

Coconut palm

Science name: Cocos nucifera

A common sight along the seashore worldwide, the slender, leaning trunk grows to a height of 25m. The leaves arise in a crown at the top, each leaf approximately 5m in length with many leaflets. The flowers grow among the leaves and are yellow-white in colour. Female flowers produce single-seeded fruit (coconuts). Each coconut has a fibrous husk which surrounds a woody shell containing the coconut meat, milk and oil. From the trunk to the nut every part of this versatile palm is useful. It is used in cooking, cosmetics, soap, fertilizer, roofing material, mats and even jewellery, among other things. It is believed to be native to the South Pacific. While the palm provides welcome shade, beach-goers should be wary of falling coconuts and keep a safe distance

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