The Coconut

The Coconut

Phylogeny,Origins, and Spread

1st Edition - December 27, 2016

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  • Author: N Madhavan Nayar
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128097793
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128097786

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The Coconut: Phylogeny, Origins, and Spread comprehensively covers the botany, phylogeny, origins, and spread of the coconut palm. The coconut is used primarily for its oil, fiber, and as an article of food, including its tender-nut water. Until the 1950s, coconut oil used to rank first in the world in production and international trade among all the vegetable oils. Since then, lower-cost sources such as the African oil palm, soybean, canola, and others have overtaken the coconut in oil production and trade. The coconut, Cocos nucifera L. (Arecaceae), is a dominant part of the littoral vegetation across the tropics. In addition to discussing the origins of the coconut and its use as a crop, the book covers the resurgence in the use of the coconut in food, pharmaceuticals, and nutraceuticals.

Key Features

  • Presents the phylogeny, origins, and spread of the coconut
  • Explores the broad-based use of coconut from basic food source to nutraceuticals
  • Provides ethnobotanical information on cultivation and use of this tropical crop


Advanced graduate students and researchers in biology and agriculture; also, technical and development officials, extension staff, and policy planners

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1. The Coconut in the World

    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Contributions of Coconuts to the Food Economy

    Chapter 2. Early History, Lore, and Economic Botany

    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Ethnobotany of Palms
    • 3. Pacific Ocean Islands
    • 4. Economic Botany of the Coconut
    • 5. Indian Ocean
    • 6. Atlantic Ocean

    Chapter 3. Taxonomy and Intraspecific Classification

    • 1. History of Coconut Taxonomy
    • 2. Classification of Tribe Cocoseae
    • 3. Character Primitiveness and Progression in the Palm Family
    • 4. Intraspecific Variation in the Coconut

    Chapter 4. Paleobotany and Archeobotany

    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Fossils From New Zealand
    • 3. Fossils From India
    • 4. Fossils From Other Regions
    • 5. Paleopalynology
    • 6. Archeobotany

    Chapter 5. Phylogeny

    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Moore’s Classification
    • 3. Phylogeny of the Cocosoid/Cocoseae Palms
    • 4. Commentary

    Chapter 6. Biogeography

    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Age and Lineage Differentiation of Palms
    • 3. Experimental Studies

    Chapter 7. Origins: Past Observations

    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Review of Literature
    • 3. Origin of the Pacific Ocean
    • 4. Atoll Origins and Ecology
    • 5. Peopling Polynesia Vis-à-vis the Food Production System
    • 6. Natural Dissemination of the Coconut
    • 7. New Guinea as an Independent Center of Agricultural Origins

    Chapter 8. Origins

    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Place of Origin
    • 3. The Ancestral Species
    • 4. Time of Origin
    • 5. Mode of Evolution of the Coconut

    Chapter 9. Spread

    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. For and Against Natural Dispersals
    • 3. From the Old World to the New World
    • 4. Coconuts on the Pacific Coast of America
    • 5. Spread of the Coconut in South America

    Chapter 10. Afterword: Does the Coconut Have a Future?

    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. R&D Efforts for Transforming the Coconut Ideotype to Face the Newer Challenges of the 21st Century

Product details

  • No. of pages: 240
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2017
  • Published: December 27, 2016
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128097793
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128097786

About the Author

N Madhavan Nayar

• Emeritus Scientist, Department of Science & Technology (Government of India) and Indian Council of Agricultural Research

• Director of 3 crop/cropping systems-based ICAR institutes (Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasaragod; Central Potato Research Institute, Shimla; Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Trivandrum)

• Former Joint Director, CPCRI Regional Station, Vittal

• Former Section / Division Head in Central Potato Research Institute and Central Rice Research Institute

• Editor of 6 books; author of ca. 190 scientific papers

Affiliations and Expertise

Emeritus Scientist, Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute, Trivandrum, Kerala, India

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