Coconut: Varieties/Cultivars

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

There are countless kinds of coconut palm which can be distinguished by visible characteristics, including size, colour, shape, etc. of nut, but all belonging to the single species Cocos nucifera. In the past, botanists attempted to classify these kinds, giving them varietal names such as Cocos nucifera var typica. (These attempts corresponded, by and large, to the distinctions made by growers and consumers; but they, naturally, used vernacular names in their own languages for the various kinds which, to their mind, were significantly different. The Malay and Indonesian languages are particularly rich in vernacular names.)