September 24, 2016

2767 FRANCE (Saint Martin) - A coconut tree

The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the family Arecaceae (palm family) and the only species of the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit. The term is derived from the 16th-century Portuguese and Spanish word coco meaning "head" or "skull", from the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features. It is a large palm, growing up to 30m tall, with pinnate leaves 4-6m long, and pinnae 60-90cm long. On fertile soil, it can yield up to 75 fruits per year, but more often yields less than 30.

Botanically, the coconut fruit is a drupe, not a true nut. Like other fruits, it has three layers: the exocarp, mesocarp, and endocarp. The exocarp and mesocarp make up the "husk" of the coconut. Coconuts sold in the shops of nontropical countries often have had the exocarp removed. The mesocarp is composed of a fiber, called coir, which has many traditional and commercial uses. The shell has three germination pores or "eyes" that are clearly visible. The coconut has spread across much of the tropics, probably aided in many cases by seafaring people. Coconut fruit in the wild are light, buoyant, and highly water resistant.

Virtually every part of the coconut palm can be used in some manner. They form a regular part of the diets of many people in the tropics and subtropics. Coconuts are distinct from other fruits for their large quantity of "water", and when immature, they are known as tender-nuts or jelly-nuts and may be harvested for their potable coconut water. When dried, the coconut flesh is called copra. The oil and milk derived from it are used in cooking, as well as in soaps and cosmetics. The husks and leaves can be used as material to make a variety of products for furnishing and decorating.

About the stamp

The stamp, designed by Claude Jumelet and issued on June 5, 2016, is Charles Gleyre 1806-1874 - The lost illusions.

Coconut - Wikipedia

Sender: Denise
Sent from Marigot (Saint Martin / France), on 19.08.2016

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