Saturday, 13 June 2015

Double Coconut Tree

Why in news?
Scientists at the Indian Botanical Garden in Howrah (West Bengal) have carried out artificial pollination of the only double coconut tree in India, which bears the largest seed known to science. This Botanical Garden has the largest collection of palms in South East Asia with around 110 palm species.

Source: The Hindu

About The Tree
  • One of the rare and globally threatened species of palm
  • Declared Endangered as per IUCN Red List
  • Endemic to only 2 islands of Seychelles, and is also called Coco de Mer (coconut of the sea)
  • Bears the largest seed known to science — weighing around 25 kg
  • Longest surviving palm which can live for as long as 1,000 years
  • Bears the largest leaf among palms and one leaf can thatch a small hut
Legend
"Legend bestows the seed with the power to bring good fortune to its owners. There has also been a tradition of making kamandals [drinking vessels] from the double coconut by bisecting the shell. It was believed that those who consume water from these kamandals will be protected from poisoning. Subsequently, sadhus started using Kamandals and it got its place in religious rituals."

[Sources: The Hindu, Wikipedia]

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