Information about: Cocoanut

Index | Cocoanut

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Cocoanut, or Coconut. A woody fruit of an oval shape, from three or four to six or eight inches in length, covered with a fibrous husk, and lined internally with a white, firm, and fleshy kernel. The tree which produces the cocoanut is a palm, from 60 to 100 feet high. The trunk is straight and naked, and surmounted by a crown of feather-like leaves. The nuts hang from the summit of the tree in clusters of a dozen or more together. The external rind of the nuts has a smooth surface. This incloses an extremely fibrous substance, of considerable thickness, which immediately surrounds the nut. The fibrous coat of the nut is made into the well-known cocoanut matting; the coarse yarn obtained from it is called coir, which is also used for cordage. The hard shell of the nut is polished and made into a cup or other domestic utensil. The fronds are wrought into baskets, brooms, mats, sacks, and many other useful articles; the trunks are made into boats or furnish timber for the construction of houses. The sweet sap of the flower spathes is made into toddy and palm wine, and when fermented and distilled yields an intoxicating liquor known as arrack.