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Double Coconut
Ko-Ko de Mer
Coco Fesse
Maldive Coconut

Lodoicea maldivica

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Zone 10

If you think Coconut palms are cool, the Double Coconut, Lodoicoa maldivica, is way better.  The nuts may weigh as much as 40-45 pounds each and are the largest seeds on the planet

Coco-de-mer is also said to be a powerful aphrodisiac

Lodoicoa maldivica is native to the Seychelles Islands, an island nation off the east coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean.  The tree grows wild on only two small islands in a chain of over 100

Notice the Latin name is not Cocos.   The bottom the tree is not too closely related to our coconut, Cocos nucifera.   Differences include the fact the fronds are fan-leaf and there are both male and female trees.  It is said female trees do not bear fruit until they are over 100 years old

Ripe fruit is not firm and white inside like Cocos nucifera.   The ripe interior of the Double Coconut is like jelly and is sweet and very tasty

Acquiring a Double Coconut nut or tree is almost impossible. One source told us the entire economy of the Seychelles Islands is based on these amazing nuts which are guarded from being exported or being smuggled out of the country.  Another source, Palm and Cycad Societies of Australia, confirms difficulty both in obtaining nuts and germination as well, e.g. some literature indicates it takes 3 years after germination for green fronds to appear...others say 3-5 months

The first (smallest of all to come) frond will be huge, typically 2-4 square YARDS in size

Speaking of germination, we were shocked when we found a germinated nut for sale at a palm show here in Fort Lauderdale in the 90's.  It is the only nut we have ever seen for sale.  This nut was on sale for $1,700 and may have been a bargain price for so exclusive a tree.  Price today would likely be much higher

Both a male and a female tree are required to set fruit.  A Double Coconut is mature approximately age 30-40 years