David Starrett dstarret at BIOLOGY.SEMO.EDU
Thu Aug 12 17:48:38 EST 1999

At 09:12 AM 8/12/99 -0700, James W. Perry wrote:
>I will be glad to stand corrected if a source is cited, but I have to
>disagree with Steve about his analysis of the structure of a coconut. The
>"meat" that we eat is not the cotyledon to my knowledge, but rather the
>solid endosperm. The "milk" is the liquid endosperm, as others have pointed
>out. Please see p. 91 of Photo Atlas for Botany, Perry and Morton, 1998
>(Wadsworth Publishers).

O.K., now I have two questions that seem to be getting conflicting answers.

1)  What is the meat?  Is it cotylerdon and thus converting endosperm to
embryo?  Is it soldified endosperm?  If it is cotyledon, where does the
milk go?  Why is it that even ripe coconuts have milk in them, seemingly as
much as unripe.  (in Hawaii and some asian countries brown "ripe" coconuts
are halved and the milk drank.

2)  Is the coconut technically a drupe?  I had always assumed, and used the
term, drupe to refer to dicot only.  Can it be used for monocot also?

Dave Starrett

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