Palm Trees – Part 4

This was an easy palm tree to identify since a coconut fell off the tree while we were sitting under it in Okeechobee, Florida! Fortunately it didn’t hit us and we did enjoy the meat once we broke the coconut open 🙂

Photo taken at Water’s Edge RV Park in Okeechobee, Florida

Photo taken at Water’s Edge RV Park in Okeechobee, Florida

Coconut Palms grow to a height of 80 feet and since coconuts float they have been dispersed widely by ocean currents and by humans throughout the tropics. The coconut is the most extensively grown and used nut in the world and the most important palm. It is an important commercial crop in many tropical countries, contributing significantly to their economies.

A coconut tree is 15 years old before it fully bears fruit. Fruits require a year to ripen and the annual yield per tree may reach 100, but 50 is considered good. Trees continue to be profitable until they are about 50 years old.

The coconut husk yields coir, a fibre highly resistant to salt water and used in the manufacture of ropes, mats, baskets, brushes, and brooms. Copra, the dried meat, or kernel, of the coconut is the source of coconut oil, which is used for making soap, shampoo, cosmetics, cooking oils and margarine.  Other useful products derived from the coconut palm include toddy, palm cabbage, and construction materials. Toddy is produced from the sweetish sap yielded by the young flower stalks when wounded or cut; toddy is also a source of sugar and alcohol. Palm cabbage, the delicate young bud cut from the top of the tree, is eaten as a salad vegetable. Mature palm leaves are used in thatching and weaving baskets. The fibrous, decay-resistant tree trunk is incorporated into the construction of huts; it is also exported as a cabinet wood called porcupine wood.

Hubby is waiting for me to finish up so that we can get our grocery shopping done so I will research the rest of my pictures tomorrow 🙂

Until next time …

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