The classic symbol of the tropics, the coconut palm is not only ornamental, but also one of the world's most economically important palms. Coconuts are used for many purposes, and the economies of many countries depend on them for coconut oil, used world-wide in cosmetics, soaps, cooking oils and margarine. Happiest in warmer and coastal areas of South Florida, these palms make exceptional specimens with their smooth gray trunks and long, feathery fronds.
A coconut is a single-trunk palm that can grow to 50 feet or more, with a moderate growth rate. It will begin to produce nuts when it's about 6 to 8 years old, fruiting at random times throughout the year. The nuts themselves take about a year to ripen. These palms are very salt-tolerant and make perfect beachside plantings. These palms don't like wet feet but they do need a regular drink...one of the reasons they work so well in the hot sun and plenty of rainfall climate of the tropics.