Germinating Coconuts?

David Starrett dstarret at BIOLOGY.SEMO.EDU
Tue Aug 10 17:37:22 EST 1999


At 09:24 AM 8/10/99 -0500, you wrote:
>The coconuts sold in stores usually aren't mature.  The sloshing you
>hear, the milk, is liquid endosperm.  It's an unusual phenomenon--the
>endosperm is multi-nuclear but has no cell walls.  As the fruit matures,
>the endosperm solidifies into the "meat" of the coconut.  The more milk,
>the less ripe the nut.

Does a mature seed therefore have no milk?  I have heard that the endosperm
solidifies and always wondered why/how a liquid which would settle to the
bottom coats the inside so uniformly.  So, all the meat in a coconut is
solid endosperm?  Why the big hollow space?  To make it float?  Where is
the cotyledon?  Is there a scutellum-like structure  on the embryo?  What
fruit type would a coconut fall under? (not being a true nut).

Guess I was luckier than I relalized getting a supermarket coconut to
germinate.


Dave Starrett


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