SelecTree: Tree Detail

COCONUT PALM
Cocos nucifera

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Photo Locations: Maui, Hilo, Oahu, Hi and Lyon Arboretum - Honolulu, HI

General Notes

This palm is quite possibly the most useful of all plants for humans. It provides, food, water, shelter, and much more. Countless culinary and cosmetic uses exist for the coconut milk and oil. The husk and shells are used for fuel, charcoal, and coir, a natural fiber used in upholstery padding, sacking, plant growing media, brushes, string, rope, and fishing net. The leaves are useful for brooms, trunks for building small bridges, huts, drums, and canoes, and the roots for a dye, a mouthwash, and a medicine for diarrhea and dysentery. It is ubiquitous in lowland areas of the Hawaiian Islands, originally introduced by the Polynesians, and widely used, revered, or ignored due to their commonness. Trees need to be trimmed annually or the can create a safety hazard (falling coconuts). The rhinoceros beetle (Orycytes rhinoceros) is considered a major pest of coconut palms in Hawai'i. Cocos nucifera has a HPWRA (Hawai'i Pacific Weed Risk Assessment) score of -4 (Low Risk), and the Plant Pono link is: https://plantpono.org/pono-plants/cocos-nucifera/.

Native to Pacific Island and Worldwide Tropics.

Family: Arecaceae

Additional Common Names

COCONUT PALM, NIU, IRU, LU, NI, NU, TE NI, NIZOK, NIYOG

Tree Characteristics

Palm Shape.

Has Evergreen foliage.

Height: 50 - 65 feet.

Width: 15 - 25 feet.

Growth Rate: 12 to 36 Inches per Year.

Leaves Pinnately Compound, Light Green, No Change, Evergreen.

Flowers Inconspicuous. White. Flowers in Spring. Has separate male and female reproductive parts on the same tree (monoecious).

Persistent, Brown or Green Drupe, Very Large (Over 3.00 inches), fruiting in Summer Edible.

Bark Gray, Rough or Smooth.

Shading Capacity Rated as Low to Moderately Low in Leaf.

Litter Issue is Fruit and Leaves.

Tree Site Conditions & Constraints

Sunset Zones H2.

USDA Hardiness Zones 10 - 11.

Exposure Full Sun.

Well Drained Soil.

Clay, Loam or Sand Texture.

Acidic to Alkaline Soil pH.

Salinity Tolerance is Coastal Good.

Seaside Tolerance is Good in South Coast.

Pests & Disease Information

Susceptible to Nematodes, Lethal Yellowing Disease, Virus Diseases, Fungi..

Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns

Root Damage Potential Rated as Low.

Special Uses & Values

Specimen, Buffer Strip or Street Tree.

Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Cocos nucifera Tree Record." 1995-2020. Aug 14, 2020.
< https://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/cocos-nucifera >

This tree is not part of the SelecTree Nursery Connection. If you would like to see this tree listed, or know of a nursery that sells it, please contact us at ufei@calpoly.edu.