Common Name

Hawaiian Name

Scientific Name
Cocos nucifera



Whole Plant



Location On Campus

The Coconut tree can be found by Keawe gym.

Natural Habitat

Coconut trees are usually found in coastal areas near beaches. They grow at a minimum of 27-30oC and in a humid climate.

Cultural Information

Trunk, husk, and shells, leaves and fronds were made into food containers, hula drums, fans, children's toys, rods, and other tools. Rope was made out of coconut husk fibers. This plant is Polynesian introduced.

Plant Description


  • Main root is usually 1 cm thick
  • White cream color when young, as it grows, becomes reddish-brown, then dark brown
  • Whitish lumps on main roots
  • Lateral roots branch out
  • Short rootlets grow out from lateral roots


  • Curved trunk
  • Swollen base which is ringed, strong, and elastic


  • 3-5 m long
  • Simple leaf


  • Nectar producing
  • Blooms at any time of year


  • 25-30 cm long
  • 3 sides
  • Immature fruit is green, mature fruit is brown
  • Thick fibrous husk encasing the hard shell
  • 40 or more coconuts are produced per year
  • Coconut meat inside is edible
  • You can drink the coconut water inside of the shell


  • Cannot self pollinate
  • Pollination by wind

Life Cycle/

  • Grows and bears fruit at 7 years of age
  • Lives up to 100 years of age


  • Plant the whole coconut fruit, top side up
  • Partially cover keep moist
  • Germination occurs in 4-5 months

Web Site Links

Coconut Project

This website shows information on the different parts of the coconut tree and pictures of each part of the tree.

 Canoe Plants of Ancient Hawai‘i: NIU

This website shows information on the fruit, nectar, and propagation of the coconut tree.

 The Coconut Tree- Staff of Life

This website shows a legend about the coconut tree and a picture of the coconut tree.


Coconut Project. J. Elfick, Web Manager. 15 October 2002. School Agriculture Projects for the Tropics. 12 March 2003 <>

Coconuts: The Tree of Life in the Pacific. Katand Dingo, Web Manager. Hawai‘i School Reports. 5 March 2003 <>

Coconut Tree. Elisabeth Benders-Hyde, Web Manager. Blue Planet Biomes. 9 March 2003 <>

Niu. Lynton Dove White, Web Manager. Hawaiian Independence. 3 March 2003 <>

Scott, Susan. Plants and Animals of Hawai‘i. United States of America: Bess Press, 1991.

Sohmer, S.H., and R. Gustafson. Plants and Flowers of Hawai‘i. North America: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1953.

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