The Coco de mer palm (Lodoicea maldivica), the sole member of the genus Lodoicea, is a palm endemic to the islands of Praslin and Curieuse in the Seychelles. It formerly also occurred on St Pierre, Chauve-Souris and Ile Ronde (Praslin) in the Seychelles group but has become extinct on these islands.
The fruit, which requires 6-7 years to mature and a further two years to germinate, is sometimes also referred to as sea coconut, double coconut, coco fesse, or Seychelles nut.
The tree grows to 25-34 m tall. The leaves are fan-shaped, 7-10 m long and 4.5 m wide with a 4 m petiole. It is dioecious, with separate male and female plants. The male flowers are catkin-like, up to 1 m long. The mature fruit is 40-50 cm in diameter and weighs 15-30 kg, and contains the largest seed in the plant kingdom.
Lodoicea maldivica, the scientific name of the Coco de mer, dates from centuries past when the seychelles were uninhabited. Back then the coconuts would be carried by the sea currents and drifted to the Maldives where they were an important trade item.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article “Coco de mer”
The palm is now extinct and protected under the world heritage program. Read Ministry of Environment – Seychelles