Sp. Pl. 2: 1188. 1753.
Stems erect or leaning, smooth. Leaves: segments inserted on rachis in 2 ranks; bract persistent, peduncular, to 1 m, woody. Staminate flowers creamy yellow, 11–13 mm. Fruits green, yellow, or bronzy red when immature, brown when mature; mesocarp dry, fibrous; endocarp brown, bearing 3 germination pores. 2n = 32.
Phenology: Flowering throughout the year.
Habitat: Coastal dune vegetation in sandy soils
Elevation: ca. 0–10 m
Introduced; Fla., pantropical. native, Pacific Islands (Melanesia).
This is the coconut of commerce, although it is cultivated in the U.S. solely for its ornamental value. Although not native, the coconut persists long after cultivation and is essentially naturalized in coastal southern Florida. Lethal yellowing disease eliminated a large number of susceptible coconuts from the landscape. Presently, most cultivated individuals are resistant cultivars.