University of Florida

Plant Identification Learning Module:
Fruits & Nuts

Coconut (Cocos nucifera)

The coconut is a subtropical palm. Leaves are very large, pinnately-compound, with numerous long, narrow, pointed leaflets. The flower ranges from white to creamy to gray. The thin skinned fruit is a drupe about the size of a football and may be green, brown or yellow at maturity. Beneath the skin there is a husk which is composed of fibers. The husk encloses the nut inside. It's hard, rough, brown, and has three "eyes" at one end. It is the largest of all nuts, being about the size of a softball. Pure white coconut meat lines the inside of the nut and usually a quantity of coconut milk is inside. Coconuts grow in warmer locations of Central and South Florida.