coco de mer plant. Image source: Google

Coco de Mer, commonly known as the sea coconut, or double coconut, Lodoicea is a monotypic genus in the palm family. The only species, Lodoicea maldivica, is endemic to the islands of Praslin and Curieuse in the Seychelles.

Coco de mer fruit.

The coco de mer palm has separate male and female trees, unlike the coconut palm. Its leaves are fan shaped and contains the largest and most heaviest seed in the plant kingdom. The most renowned feature of the coco de mer is its enormous fruit which is the largest in the plant world. The fruit, which requires 6–7 years to mature and a further two years to germinate. The seed of Coco de Mer is weighing up to 25 kilogrammes with a diameter of 40 to 50 centimetres. The largest fruit recorded weighed 42 kg making it the world’s heaviest nut. The coco-de-mer leaves hold remarkable lifespan of over 50 years, perhaps the longest lifespan of any leaf in the plant kingdom. The male flowers look like catkins and can measure up to 1 metre long, making them the longest male flowers in the world.

Coco male catkin flower. Image source: Google

The Seychelles islands is the only place on earth that coco de mer grows.

It costs about $300 USD which may sound a bit expensive, but it’s a rare nut that makes one fantastic souvenir. It can take up to 40 years for a tree to reach adulthood! It then takes another 7-10 years for the nut to grow and to fall off the tree. Then, it takes another 10 years for it to dry and be allowed for sale.

Coco de mer fruits.