Found in South Asia, bordering India and the Maldives, Sri Lanka is an island nestled in the Indian Ocean, that also shares waters from both the Arabian Sea as well as the Bay of Bengal. Due to its climate, Sri Lanka has ideal soil for various tropical plantations because it is an island with perfect weather that lasts year-round!
One of the main plants that comes from this region, is the coconut – which is undeniably a business that is well-known around the world.
The coconut plant has a close connection to Sri Lankan culture because it was one of the three principal export crops of Sri Lanka during the colonial era with a sector which is well-known and in high demand due to the quality and worth of its products.
A question that is quite common is whether the coconut comes from a plant or tree?
The coconut comes from trees; it is actually a member of the palm family of trees. The coconut is known in scientific circles by the name Cocos nucifera. The trees that grow coconuts are typically tall and can reach heights of more than thirty feet. There are of course a variety of different coconut breeds, therefore, you can find coconut trees of varying heights – although, they’re all quite fruitful.
Around 100 coconuts are produced yearly by a mature, healthy coconut tree.
Additionally, the coconut fruit has a rounded form with sharply pointed edges and has an outer covering protected by a hard fiber; which is considered the husk of a coconut. Each of these fruits contains a solitary seed – just one.
As many of us already know, these tasty fruits are filled with both ‘meat’ or ‘flesh’ and sweet, delicious water. Depending on the variety of coconut and the region where they are grown, the fruits might be green or pale yellow.
The tricky part can arise in how the coconuts actually get harvested, since they develop in clusters among the branches near the top of the tree – which can be well over 30 feet tall. Without the aid of a large hook that extends the entire length of the tree or someone willing to make the brave climb up to the top of the trees where the fruits actually grow, coconuts cannot be harvested.
Typically, 70 years is more or less the lifespan of a healthy coconut tree.
‘The Tree of Life’ – At times, the Coconut Tree has been referred to by such a phrase, but why?
Without question, the most valuable thing on planet earth - is life. And this is the
connection. The coconut tree is similar due to a specific factor. It helps the environment overall because it is one of the few trees on earth that has benefits from all parts. It is quite astounding how the coconut tree's various parts may all be useful and valuable; that is quite rare. Usually, plants and or trees offer their benefits from a small portion of the tree or plant, not from its entirety.
It is known as Wapruka in Sri Lankan culture, which literally translates to "the tree that gives everything." As a result, Sri Lankans take great pride in owning a coconut tree in their home land.
To be continued…
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