For thousands of years, Pacific Islanders have used coconut as their primary source of food and medicine, and as a result, have always been among the healthiest, longest-lived people in the world. The coconut leaf beetle feeds on the tender leaves, damaging the seedlings. These traders encountered the Maldives and the Laccadives who were known for their remarkable shipbuilding ability and craftsmanship. These explorers named it "coquo" (coco), meaning "small animal", because the eyes and mouth on the brown outer shell reminded them of the grinning face of a monkey! Steps we're taking to address COVID-19. Production and Processing, All-Natural Coconut The palm bears polygamomonoecious flowers, where both male and female flowers blossom within the same inflorescence. Bennett also related that the charcoal from the coconut shell can be an effective tooth cleanser and that the coconut’s roots have a medicinal purpose. Middle Ages – Coconuts were uncommon and treasured that their shells were polished and mounted in gold. The fruit is a favorite food for the Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) larvae. The coconut is a versatile fruit. The suffix ‘nut‘ was added to refer to the seed-bearing palm, just like most other tree seeds are referred to, in English. Many claim that the coconut is native to Southeast Asia, and that the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia, including Australia, were believed to be the likely places of origin. The coconut’s early presence in Seychelles and Mauritius suggested a natural dispersal. In reference to the dried, shredded flesh of the nut used in cookery and confections, by 1830. What is known, however, is that the coconut has spread much across the tropics –thanks to its buoyant husks and leathery outside skin that floated in considerable distances in seawater without the help of humans. Heritage Farm Native to the tropics, the palm seems to have found its way across the continents. It probably comes from the South-east of Asia and its diversification centre was also this area, Indonesia and the Western Pacific islands. The Last Straw – What Kills Weeds Permanently? The name was derived from the Iberian ‘El Coco‘, which referred to a mythical hairy monster. Origins. Bennett, an English man, explained in his writings, “A Treatise on the Coco-Nut Tree and The Many Valuable Properties Possessed by the Splendid Palm” how coconut water helped remove wrinkles. Once planted, a coconut tree can grow up to 100 feet tall, and yield thousands of coconuts and many thousands of liters of sap over its 70-100 year lifespan. Coconut trees have been found growing near coastal waters all over the world. Magellan left the island with much-needed provisions, including a supply of coconuts. Because they have maintained their traditional diets, they are known to be generally free of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other degenerative conditions common in our western culture. 1895 – Demand for coconuts in the United States took off when a Philadelphia-based flour miller received a shipload of coconuts as debt payment from a Cuban businessman. Interestingly, every part of it is put to some use or the other. Today, the Philippines is recognized as the leading nation in the world, for coconut production. Baker sent the coconuts to a factory to be shredded and dried so that he can create something marketable out of them. The fruit has a special mention in the Mahavamsa texts of Sri Lanka too, dating back to the 1st century BC. All over Asia, the tree is venerated for its tender coconut water, dried fruit, oil, a number of shell-based products, and the coir pith. A message to our customers. It paid off when the coconut culture started to pervade the market and Americans began clamoring for coconut cream pies, coconut custards, coconut frosting for desserts, coconut cookies, and other sweet coconut concoctions. We know the origin of most of the plants cultivated nowadays, thanks to the wild species. 6789 Quail Hill Pkwy, Suite 211 Irvine CA 92603. Botanically referred to as the Cocos nucifera, it is a member of the Arecaceae or palm family. The word "coconut" first appeared in the western world in the 15th century, when Portuguese explorers found this fruit prolifically growing on tropical islands throughout the Indian Ocean. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Known to be a "colonizer" by nature, the lightweight buoyancy of the coconut makes it capable of floating significant distances on the sea without losing its ability to germinate. The name stuck, and today the whole world knows the tree as the coconut palm. We hope you are enjoying Gardenerdy! But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. In fact, it is the only member of the genus Cocos. 14thCentury – From Marco Polo’s chronicles, Arab traders carried coconut shells from India, Sumatra, and Nicobar Islands to England before Portuguese sailors reached East Africa. The origin of the coconut is not known until today. The ships, including the hulls, masts, ropes, stitches, sails, and other parts were built entirely using different parts of the coconut tree and various coconut-based materials. 1900s – The Philadelphia-based flour miller introduced the coconut in the U.S.. An occasional palm is sighted in certain micro-climates like those observed in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater region, in and around Cape Canaveral, Orlando-Kissimmee-Daytona Beach, Rio Grande Valley, and Galveston Island.