The coconut plant is known as the "Tree of Life", because every bit of it can he used. However, coconuts are not trees but botanically considered woody perennial monocotyledons. Spread throughout the tropical regions of the world, coconut palms are plants with a long trunk and a large crown of leaves on top which best grow in sandy soil with regular rainfall and a lot of sunlight. A main distinction is made between dwarf and tall palms, the latter reaching up to 30 mt of height.
Coconut wood is salt-resistant, strong and used as a building material for houses, boats and bridges.
THE HUSK AND THE LEAVES
The ﬁber of the husk of the coconut is used to make ropes and mats and can also he converted in paint brushes or in stuffing for mattresses. Leaves are woven to make baskets and dried to be used as thatch for rooﬁng.
It takes almost 1 year for a coconut to mature; it is buoyant and, unlike other drupe fruits [fleshy with stony seed], it disperses its seed through the ocean. A coconut can weight up to 1,5 kg and has many useful parts:
The fleshy meat is rich in potassium and magnesium and eaten fresh or dried. lt is also processed to make soaps, cosmetics as well as massage and cooking oil.
Young fruits produce coconut water, which is a very refreshing and nutricious drink. High levels of sugar and mineral salts allow it to be used as a substitute for blood plasma. Coconut water was used for emergencies transfusions during Wwll;
Coconut milk is fat and used to produce coconut cream, both are essential ingredients of curries and soups.