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The Types of Coconut Palm Tree

coconut palms image by Adrian Hillman from

While there are more than 150 types of coconut palm trees, there are a few that dominate the landscape. This is a result of both natural adaptation and hybrids created by humans. The most popular coconut palm trees, of course, are those that produce both large quantities and produce them quickly.

Atlantic Tall

The Atlantic Tall, also often called the Jamaica Tall, thrives in sandy soil and along beaches, and is not bothered by strong winds or salt spray, making it one of the most common types of coconut palm tree. It only takes an Atlantic Tall about six years to begin producing coconuts, but it can live up to 100 years. It also grows to astounding heights, reaching 85 feet. Atlantic Tall trees also are heavy producers, and a single tree can yield 300 coconuts per year. Coconuts from the Atlantic Tall have mild-flavored water, but plenty of meat.


A hybrid created for commercial purposes, the Maypan coconut palm tree grows slowly but is able to yield coconuts within three years. It is the result of crossing the Malaya Dwarf with the Pacific Tall coconut tree. Like the Malaya, the Maypan is sensitive to salt spray and needs richer soil than sandy beaches can provide. It produces large amounts of coconuts, but requires regular watering.

Malaya Dwarf

The name Malaya Dwarf may be a bit deceiving because this coconut tree can grow up to 40 feet tall. It starts producing coconuts within three years, while still fairly small, which is how it earned its name. This tree does not thrive too close to a beach because it does not withstand salty sea spray very well. It is found in richer inland soils. Malaya Dwarf coconuts are low on meat but have very sweet water.

Palm Trees & Coconut Trees

Everyone knows what a palm tree looks like even if they haven't seen one in person. Because coconuts come from palm trees, most people assume that a palm tree and a coconut tree are the same thing. This class of tree contains more than 3,000 species and over 230 families. Palm trees produce both fruit and flowers. They grow in pointed, narrow shapes extending outward from the stem. The other kind of leaves grow at the very end of the stem and are larger and spread out almost in the shape of hands. Palm trees are of varying heights and thicknesses, and the tallest varieties can grow up to 197 feet tall. Date palms are a species of the palm family. Date palms have been critically important throughout history and have provided food for human beings since the beginning of measured time. Female date palm seeds need to be pollinated by male date palm trees. However, only a specific species of palm trees bear coconuts. they're strong and their roots extend deep into the soil. The uses for the coconut are extensive and have been enjoyed by human beings since the beginning of time. People dry and eat coconut meat, drink the water, use the oil for a variety of purposes and even use the husk. Many world economies rely heavily on trading coconuts, and It's a critical part of life on almost every continent in the world. The husk itself is used for charcoal, fuel, floor polishing, an insect repellent and a skin exfoliator. Inside the shell is coconut water. Coconut water is consumed regularly in tropical areas where the fruit is found. It restores the body's balance of electrolytes and can be used as an emergency infusion because it's capable of mixing safely with blood. It also dissolves kidney stones. Coconut oil is known to reduce wrinkles and soften and moisturize the skin. It can remove head lice, decrease the appearance of varicose veins, work to condition the hair and improve the skin's tone and elasticity.

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