Coconut palm trees grow in tropical and subtropical climates and use the ocean to spread their seeds. The plant requires drained soil and full sunlight and is strong enough to withstand high wind speeds. Coconut palm trees grow as tall as 100 feet, and the feather-shaped leaves can grow as long as 18 feet. They produce flowers, and the female flowers eventually mature into coconuts.
The most used nut in the world, coconuts provide coconut meat, coconut milk, coconut water and coconut oil, which can be used for food, for making cosmetics and for medical purposes. Coconut meat contains copper, potassium and manganese and is often dried to serve in desserts. The shells are used to make eating utensils and other tools, and the coir, which is the hairy fibrous husk around the nut, is used to make rope, mats, mattress stuffing, brushes and other useful items. The generously sized coconut palm leaves are used to make crafted brooms, roof thatching and baskets.
The coconut palm tree grows from a planted coconut. It takes about five years for a coconut tree to begin to bear fruit. A healthy coconut tree produces as many as 50 coconuts each year.