Is a coconut nut a giant nut? This question may sound funny, but the answer is no. Coconuts are a member of the palm tree family and the only known living species under the genus Cocos nucifera. Coconut is actually a one-seeded drupe, not a nut. Coconut can refer to the whole coconut palm or coconut plant, its fruit or seeds.
It is believed that coconuts are from the Indio-Malaya region and they are one of the most important crops in the tropical countries, mostly in Southeast Asia.
The Tree of Life
Coconut is the true definition of the tree of life. From its leaves down to the roots, parts of the coconuts won’t go to waste and they have their own usage. Its leaves are being used in different things, such as a roof for native houses. The main coconut palm tree’s body is being used as a lumber.
The coconut fruit contains flesh or the so-called coconut meat that’s also very useful. Major companies are processing them into coconut oil. It also contains fats and can be eaten dried or fresh.
The coconut water inside the fruit also provides its own use and provides a lot of health benefits. You can drink it fresh out of the seed or they are being repacked and sold in grocery stores. The coconut water is also processed into different beverage products or being fermented to create a vinegar.
What Are The 7 Different Types of Coconuts
The coconut palms could reach the height of up to 80 feet tall. The base of a coconut palm are roots that may protrude or are swollen. Up above is its crown of palm leaves that looks like feathers. The oval-shaped fruits, sometimes rounded, or the so-called seeds are green when young and they turn into brown color once they mature.
The fruits are covered in husk or fibrous material and it contains a shell that protects the meat and juice in the center. This composition allows the fruits to float and have been distributed to different parts of the world through the oceans.
Different types of coconuts have been created due to natural mutation and artificial cross-pollination. Let us check what are these types of coconut palm trees that you might find in your local area.
1. Macapuno Coconut
The coconut palms of the macapuno coconut belong to the family of dwarf coconuts. Macapuno coconuts are known for their unusual meat development. This variety of coconut has a soft translucent soft flesh that has the consistency of a jelly. It fills almost the entire cavity of the fruit and contains a little to no coconut water inside.
The meat of the macapuno coconut is often transformed into different food products such as macapuno candies, jams and jellies. It also possesses a unique coconut taste aside from its weird texture.
2. Malayan Dwarf Coconut
The malayan dwarf coconut is one of the most popular coconut varieties (dwarf coconuts) that you can find around the world, including the regions of Fiji, Brazil, and Thailand. The meat and water of the malayan dwarf coconuts are sweet and tasty.
The young coconut fruit of the malayan dwarf coconuts is green in color and they will start to turn into yellow once they mature. They are also called the Golden Malay coconut.
3. Fiji Dwarf Coconut
Also one of the coconut varieties under dwarf coconuts, the fiji dwarf coconut is one of the most resilient coconut cultivars, and also one of the most popular types of coconut. The fiji dwarf coconut has a disease resistance capability that is able to withstand common plant diseases, such as the yellowing disease.
It produces coconuts that have thicker husks or outer shells that turn green when matured. The meat of the fiji dwarf coconut is firm and sweet.
4. King Coconuts
Don’t be fooled by its name, king coconuts are not tall as what the name suggests. This type of coconut belongs to the family of dwarf coconuts. However, the name king coconut refers to the taste, color and the build of its coconut trees. King coconuts also offer more health benefits as they have higher nutrient contents compared to the other types of coconuts.
The meat of the king coconut is sweeter, if not, the sweetest among the other types. Thanks to its higher sugar content.
5. Panama Tall Coconuts
The panama tall coconuts are also referred to as the Pacific Tall. The coconut tree of the panama tall coconuts is a towering variety that bears juicy coconut fruits. Just like the jamaican tall coconuts, the Panama tall could reach a height of up to 100 feet tall. They also have dark green leaves that are broad.
6. West Coast Tall Coconut
The west coast tall coconut is one of the most productive coconut cultivars around the world. This tall coconut variety can provide up to 80 coconuts a year per coconut tree. The west coast tall coconut could also reach up to 100 feet tall and this coconut palm variety can withstand drought season.
Its fruits are also interesting as it can change into four colors. It could be from green to yellow when young and orange to brown once they mature.
7. East Coast Tall Coconut
Let’s talk about the one of the most widely grown tall coconut varieties, the east coast tall coconut. For these coconut palms to bear fruits, it would take around 6 to 8 years. The east coast tall coconut could yield up to 70 fruits each coconut tree a year.
These coconut palms are also versatile as they can be grown into loamy, sandy, and poor soil types. The fruits of the east coast tall coconut varieties are large and green in color, which also offers more coconut water inside.
There are still several types of coconuts that you may find out there. Hybrid coconut varieties, such as the maylan coconut also exist. Jamaican tall which closely resembles the panama variety could also be found growing in different regions. Cameroon red is also one of the coconut varieties.