Germinating Coconuts?

Bob Vickery vickery at MPX.COM.AU
Thu Aug 12 02:08:04 EST 1999

Monique Reed <monique at> wrote:

>I'm not sure how the endosperm ends up evenly distributed.  And yes, the
>multi-nucleate endosperm is unusual.  I've never had the opportunity to
>cut through a fully mature coconut, so I don't know if it all solidifies
>or if there is a little slosh left over.  I would guess that the hollow
>space is indeed helpful in helping the seed float, since that's how the
>plants are dispersed.
>A coconut is actually a type of drupe--the husk is the exocarp and
>mesocarp, and the hard brown shell is the endocarp.  (Remember that what
>you see in the supermarket is not the whole fruit.)  There's got to be a
>little embryo in there somewhere, but in all my supermarket-coconut
>opening days, I have never found one.  I will look a little harder in
>this year's Plants and People course.  The embryo might be really,
>really tiny in an unripe nut.

Saw the 'nut' in half keeping the cut well away from the the 3 'eye spots
(thin spots)' in the endocarp.  One of the eye spots is bigger and softer
than the other two.  The embryo is inside this spot and is slightly more
yellow than the endosperm. It is not all that small, say 5 to 10 mm in
supermarket nuts.


Bob Vickery
vickery at

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