Droughts - On Ocean Island " . . . every seven or eight years there came a drought, . . . . There were no more flowers anywhere after two rainless months. . . . . After twelve [rainless months], half of the island's coconut palms stood headless, while those that lived on, their leaves burned rusty black, had been fruitless for many weeks." (pp 34-35) "Every coconut palm over ten years old on Ocean Island carried the record of at least one drought upon it. A dry spell of no more than four or five months would start a constriction of the trunk at the neck where the first fronds sprouted. After that, you could see the tree being slowly strangled as it stood. But up to the very last moment before the head was utterly withered away, its life could be saved by rain. If that happened, no matter how far it was gone on the way to death, it would be bearing nuts once more within the next nine months, its wind-tossed head as richly green as ever, its stem grown full and sappy again up where the new fronds sprang. Only, just below the new growth, that constriction of the trunk would remain to show where the drought had clutched it. You could count six such corsettings in the stems of the oldest trees. That carried you back forty years or so -- about two-thirds of a coconut's natural span. The record could go no further than that into the past, because the seventh drought back from 1924, which happened in the middle eighteen-seventies, wiped out every palm in the island."(pp 37,39) "The Gilbert Islands to eastwards had their droughts as well .. but they are atolls, not upthrust rocks like Baanaba, and in an atoll one can always have water drinkable enough, for all its brackish taste, from any seepage well. That same water also, held twelve feet under the sand in pans of the coral table on which every atoll stands, is nearly always fresh enough to keep most of the coconut trees bearing some few nuts, even through the worst of droughts." (p 35) Sir Arthur Grimble (1957) Return to the Islands
Mexico - Cancuen is long, narrow, and flat, nearly ten kilometres in length by less than one kilometre broad in places. Its eastern part is merely a sandbank, while the western and central portions are covered with scrub and high forest growth interspersed with patches of swamp. Till quite recently it had been entirely uninhabited, with the exception of a few temporary fishermen' s huts along the shore, but a few years ago an enterprising Meridano started cutting the bush and planting coco-nuts, and, finding that they did well on the island soil, he has now felled nearly the whole of the bush, leaving exposed a great number of ruins, all belonging to the east coast or Tulum type, none of which were previously known to archaeologists.
Thomas Gann (1924) In An Unknown Land. pp 148-149.
Fruit component analysis - carried out on individual fruits from nineteen selections in Ceylon
[Sir] Frank Stockdale, 1924
Thick husk - ". . . It may be that the thickness of the husk may form some guide to the original home of the coconut, those with a thick husk being much more likely to withstand a long sea voyage in the open sea than those less well protected. Thus in varieties of coconuts figured by Prudhomme, it will be noticed that those obtained from the East Coast of Africa have a very much thicker fruit coat than many of the other varieties originating in countries where they are more nearly adjacent to other land."
Aerial germination - “Where only a small number of seedlings are required it is often the practice to grow these without even planting them. Two seeds are tied together by stripping a length of rind of the fruit husk and with this tying two nuts together. They are then slung over a horizontal pole and kept in the shade, or over the branch of a tree, and left to germinate. This, however, is only possible in a country where the atmosphere is uniformly moist and the husk of the nut is not allowed to become too dry. One advantage of this method is that the roots do not try and force their way through the husk till the young plants are finally planted out. There is thus very little fear of the seedlings failing after they are planted in their permanent home.”
Sampson, H.C. (1923). The Coconut Palm. Bale and Danielsson, London.
Losses - Shortage of coconut oil in the Prison stores at Tanga, Tanganyika Territory and measures to prevent losses in East African Dependencies
UK Public Record Office
High Yielding Variety - Long before there was a "Green Revolution" in cereals, dwarf coconut varieties, planted at high density and responsive to fertilizer, were being actively promoted in Malaya. As a result, world-wide interest was generated in the Malayan Dwarf and it was available in Jamaica in the 60s as a source of lethal yellowing resistance and in the 70s as a seed parent for F1 hybrid production.
Jack, H.W. & Sands, W.N. (1922) The dwarf coconut in Malaya. Mal. Ag. J. 10, 4-12.
Foreign coconut varieties were introduced to the British West Indies in 1921 and 1923.
Indonesia - This period saw the first attempt to collect coconut varieties at Buitenzorg, Java .
Zanzibar - "There are two varieties of coco-nut palms grown in Zanzibar. The first is the ordinary species, while the second is a diminutive variety known as the Pemba coco-nut. This latter palm is very much smaller than the ordinary species, and with its clusters of gold-coloured nuts has a most pleasing and graceful appearance. It is planted to mark boundaries, and its milk is esteemed for drinking".
F.B. Pearce, Zanzibar, The Island Metropolis of Eastern Africa, (T. Fisher Unwin, London, 1920).
Zanzibar - "The natives differentiate between three different types of coconut palms; the common Zanzibar Palm Mnazi wa Unguja with bright yellow inflorescences and nuts of the same colour; the Mnazi wa Bahari (the sea palm) with very big green nuts and inflorescences, and finally the Mnazi wa Pemba which can be recognized by its short growth, the very yellow midribs of the leaves, many dark-brown yellow inflorescences with egg-shaped beautiful orange-yellow nuts, which very often mature only three to four meters above the ground. This type is often cultivated near the homes and along the roads. It bears nuts only after five years, but which normally are only used as drinking nuts. This type can be found not only in Pemba but also in Zanzibar (Unguja) and along the coast. Occasionally it is also called Indian Coconut and might perhaps as Stuhlmann thinks, be identical with a variety grown in Ceylon which is called Tembili or King Coconut. Also according to Stuhlmann there shall occur a special dwarf type which is called Mnazi wa Kitamli".
A. Voeltzkow, Reise in Ostafrika (1920)
1919 Nyiur gading - Will Handover was the first to realise the commercial possibilities of the dwarf coconut.
Handover, W.P. (1919) The dwarf coconut Malay. Agric. J. 8, 295-297
Neglect to water seedlings - Only since the author drew attention to the possibilities of coconuts in the Sierra Leone Littoral has the Government seriously taken up coconut growing there, importing the seeds from Malay (sic). Previously the authorities had failed, owing, among other causes, to native antipathy, the natives neglecting to water the young trees because "the nuts themselves contained liquid."
Newland HO 1919 The Planting, Cultivation, and Expression of Coconuts . . . page 10
Monkeys as coconut pickers - These monkeys not only work, but have a considerable commercial value as laborers. The price of a trained coconut monkey ranges from about $8.00 to $20.00; a price far above that put upon other common sorts of monkeys which are kept only as pets.
La Rue, C.D. (1919) Monkeys as coconut pickers. Science 50 (1286) 187.
Red ring - The root disease or red ring disease of coco-nut palms.
Nowell, W. (1919) West Indian Bulletin 18, 438.
Cocos poni Hauman, Physis (Buenos Aires) 4: 604 (1919) is a synonym for Butia yatay (Mart.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 498 (1916). A homotypic synonym is Butia poni (Hauman) Burret, Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 10: 1051 (1930).
Cocos virgata A.Usteri, Guia Bot. Praca Rep. e Jard. Luz: 13 (1919) is an unplaced name. Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants. 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. Continental Publishing, Deurne; Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2003). World Checklist of Palms. 1. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
East African Diseases - Rapport sur les maladies des cocotiers de la Compagnie du Zambeze.
de Souza da Camara, M., Coutinho, D.M.de F. P. & de Moraes Moniz da Maia, R. (1918) Extr. de la Revue Agronomique, Lisboa.
The origin and dispersal of Cocos nucifera - The special circumstances in which the Palmyra Islands are placed; their coral origin; their isolation, consequent to the great distance from any other land; the complete absence of indigeneous inhabitants; the want of drinking water; the absence of any traces of economic plants that might suggest that they had ever been inhabited; and the certainty that they are but seldom visited either by fishermen or by any person who has tried to turn their wealth (which consists of the coconut solely) into a source of profit - all these give me the occasion, in addition to describing the peculiar characteristics of the coconut produced in these islands, to offer certain considerations of an evolutionary and geographic nature, opposed to those which Mr. O.F. Cook has advanced with much competence and erudition in his two memoirs on the coconut palm. Cook in effect, sustains three principal theses, with which I entirely disagree.
Beccari, O. Philippines Journal of Science, C. Botany 12, 27-43.
Coconut Plantations Company - Beautifully engraved certificate from the Coconut Plantations Company issued in 1917. This certificate was printed by the American Banknote Company and was issued to Alonzo Elliott & Co. This historic document is hand signed by the Company President and Treasurer. Click to see
Hawaii 1914-1917 - To meet the demand for coconut oil on the continental United States, Arthur Hyde Rice planted 140,000 coconut palms. The area was named Coconut Grove for the numerous palms. Unfortunately, he planted the wrong variety [?] and suffered severe financial losses.
Hall, TW (1998) The History of Kailua.
Taxonomy - Il genere Cocos Linn. e le palme affini.
Beccari, O. (1916) L'agricoltura coloniale 10, 435-437, 489-532, 585-623.
Lord Kitchener of Khartoum - In 1916, Kitchener embarked on a mission to Russia to encourage that flagging ally to continued resistance. His ship, the H.M.S. Hampshire, hit a German mine and sank off the Orkney Islands, and he drowned. Any ideas he may have had to grow coconuts for 500km along the banks of the Nile went down with him.
Harries, Foale & Leach (2003) Kitchener's Coconuts. Palms & Cycads (PACSOA) 78
India - Coconut research began in India in 1916, and a variety collection was started there in 1921
1915 Choco - A variety was brought to Jamaica from Choco on the Pacific coast of Panama after the canal was opened in 1915.
Coconut fuel in East Africa - "By the middle of 1915 the lack of machine-made goods began to make itself felt . . . At Morogoro, a certain Dr. Schultze invented a substitute for petrol out of copra called "trebol"."
Eberlie, R.F. (1960) The German achievement in East Africa. Tanganyika Notes & Records No. 55. Reprinted. Pages 24-25.
Hamel Smith - may have made the first suggestion for a coconut breeding programme.
Anon (1915) Vegetable oil notes Tropical Life 11 (9) 164-166
Experiments with coconuts - perhaps the first scientific attempt to improve on traditional methods?
Knowles, CH (1915} Coconut experiments. Bull. 8, Dep. Agr. Fiji 1915 pp.8.
The Daily Telegraph - of January 7, in an article calling attention to the huge profits and brilliant prospects of coconut growing states: "The world has been ransacked for coconuts, but the supply is wholly insufficient."
The Empire & Empire Finance
Gorgona Island coconut variety - "Gorgona Island between 3rd and 5th parallel N of Equator 24 miles off Colombia. It is famous for producing coconuts of immense size and are of great use to planters as seed nuts. Average yield 82 nuts/tree/year, 1 ton copra/2200 nuts or 1lb copra/nut. This is nearly twice as obtained from the average nut and is over the yield of San Blas nuts which are famous everywhere for their size and realize £10 per 1000 on the plantation - hence my stating that the Gorgona nuts are the largest and would fetch record prices as seed nuts".
William Bardy reporting in the Prospectus for Gorgona Island Coconut Estate Ltd.
Financial News (Empire Section) June 12 - "Remarkable attention is being directed towards the coconut industry, and on all sides one hears of the boom that is at hand."
Zanzibar - "The native recognize three different kinds of coconut: the Pemba nut, the African nut, and the Indian nut. The Pemba cocoa-nut palm grows to a height of sixty or eighty feet, and bears nuts with light brown, oblong-shaped husks. The African palm grows to one hundred feet or more, and the nuts have very thick, green, oblong-shaped husks. The kernel and milk of the African nut are not so sweet as those of the other two. The Indian palm does not grow as tall as the others, and begins to bear much earlier - after about six years: the husk of the nut is round in shape, yellow and thin, and the kernel is very sweet".
La noix de coco -- Le traitement de l'huile de coco en europe est de date relativement recent. Ce fut en 1814, que pour la première fois une petite cargaison fut introduite en Angleterre ou on la destinate a servir d'huile d'eclairage, destination pour laquelle ce corps gras, qui se solidifie deja vers 18 deg., n'etait nullement indique. Aussi dut-on l'employer à la fabrication du savon; malgre son odeur de rancidite caracteristique, la particularite que present la savon de coco d'etre sensiblement plus soluble meme dans l'eau de mer, que ceux fabriques avec d'autres substances grasses, le rend precieux, surtout a bord des bateaux. Mais dans 1832, un élan considerable fut donne a l'usage de l'huile de coco, grace a certains procedes d'epuration. Il est prouve qu'a cette epoque 'emploie d'acide sulfurique dilue permettant d'obtenir une graisse alimentaire, blanche, sans odeur et sans rancidite; le secret en semble tout a fait perdu. C'est n'est que vers 1880, alors que l'exportation du coprah avait deja pris une avance considerable comparativement a celle de l'huile, que des essaies furent enterpris pour rendre les huiles ce coco accessibles a consommation alimentaire. Un brevet allemand (D.R.P. 19819) fut pris, a cet effet, au cours de cette annee. Depuis cette epoque, les applications et les methodes nouvelles furent et sont nombreuses. (French readers please accept my apologies for any errors in this transcription. If you can provide a corrected version and publication details I will be most grateful - HCH).
Collet, O.J.A. (1913)
In the Western Pacific -- The production of copra varies greatly on different islands. While on some there is scarcely any to be had, there are others which are practically covered with cocoa-nut trees; this is chiefly the case on islands of volcanic origin, on which springs and rivers are very scarce. It has been supposed that the natives, being dependent on the water of the cocoa-nut as a beverage, had planted the trees very extensively. This is not quite exact, although it is a fact that in these islands the natives hardly ever taste any other water than that of the cocoanut”
Speiser, cited by Weightman, 1989.
Coconut as an investment - "I know of no field of Tropical Agriculture that is so promising at the present moment as coco-nut planting, and I do not think in the whole world there is promise of so lucrative an investment of time and money as in this industry".
Sir W.H. Lever (later Lord Leverhulme) in the Introduction to "Coconuts: Consols of the East" edited by Hamel-Smith & Pape in 1912
The term "consols" was short for "Consolidated Annuities" which were British government securities created in the 1700s by combining or consolidating several securitie. They paid an invariant 3 percent interest a year, and although they could be bought and sold, they could not be redeemed (like savings bonds) for cash. In the days before a real stock market, they were one of the few things, besides land, that were a safe investment giving a secure return.
The Cult of the Coconut: a popular exposition of the coconut and oil palm industries.
The "coconut cult" and "coconut boom" were features of the stock market in the early years of the 20th century.
Anon: Curtis Gardner, London
Coconut in Naples, Florida - William Pulling and John Hachmeiste, two Canadians, organized a party of men and journeyed by boat to Cape Sable and eventually other islands surrounding Naples. Here they dug up hundreds of coconut palm trees and transported them back and planted them along the streets and avenues of the town. Eventually more than 3,000 palm trees were destined to start a new life and to live on in Naples.
Doris Reynolds, Let's Talk Food, Daily News , May 19, 2004
Queen Emma - "The possibilities of coco-nut seed introduction were fully realized by German planters resident in this Territory before the war [WWI]. Mrs. Forsythe, known as Queen Emma, is said to have introduced selected coco-nuts from Samoa to her plantations at Herbertshohe (now Kokopo). The German Government also imported two of the best kinds of coco-nuts from a representative of the Imperial Government in Samoa to the Rabaul Botanic Gardens, about 1911. The one producing large coco-nuts was introduced as Niu Vai, while the smaller variety was brought in under the name Niu iu".
Dwyer, R.E.P. (1938) Coco-nut improvement by seed selection and plant breeding. New Guinea Agric. Gaz. 4, 24-102
Samoans in Papua, 1890-1917 - "... Samoan coconuts so lightly encased that Papuans could husk them with their hands ..."]
Wetherell, D (1980) ]ournaI of Pacific History 15 (3) p 139
New Guinea - "Their administration introduced palms bearing small attractive yellow nuts from 'Stephansort' apparently at, or in the vicinity of, the plantation Bogadjim. These were stated in the 1911-13 report of the Botanic Gardens, to have grown well and to be bearing plenty of fruit. Some of these palms are still in the gardens and appear to breeding remarkably true for the yellow coloration".
Dwyer, R.E.P. (1938) Coco-nut improvement by seed selection and plant breeding. New Guinea Agric. Gaz. 4, 24-102.
Nut lard - In April 1911 the "Daily Mirror" ran an article on the production of Maypole margarine at a Dorset dairy in which it described how refined coconut oil was a pure white solid that came in casks containing 300 or 400 lb. and had to be chopped, manually, into small pieces before melting in immense tanks . . . And - as the advertisements at the time said - it was a healthier source because there was no disease risk as with animal products. For instance Nut Lard was advertised at the beginning of this century, as follows: "Nut Lard is an absolutely pure vegetable fat, extracted from the coco-nut. It is sweeter than ordinary lard or butter, and cheaper than either. It is white, odourless, does not turn rancid and is infinitely superior to ordinary lard for all culinary purposes. It can be used with the most delicate dishes without altering the natural flavour of the dish. Nut Lard contains neither salt nor water. In cold weather, Nut Lard may become hard - it should then be shredded before using." The most telling part of the advertisement was that: "Nut Lard is unequalled for frying fish, it does not splutter, there is no smell, and it can afterwards be strained and kept for future use".
Cod and chips - coconut and soap: is there a connection. Fish Friers Review, p. 22, October 1988
Procter & Gamble - Crisco was introduced by Procter &; Gamble in 1911, to provide an economical alternative to animal fats and butter. Crisco, a solidified shortening product made entirely of vegetable oil, was the result of hydrogenation, a new process that produced shortening that would stay in solid form year-round, regardless of temperature.
Hydrogenation - Until shortly before World War II, margarines (which had originally started as blends of animal fats for a cheap butter substitute) were largely (90%) made of coconut oil, animal tallow, or lard; very little hydrogenation was required or used.
Nicobar islands - "Needle Coconut is a distinct variety with a large triangular fruit, the nut having a sharp point at one end ; it is cultivated in the Nicobar Islands. Macmillan, 1910 p.401
Botanical romance - O.F. Cook, published a monograph in favour of the coconut palm coming originally from the Americas. He excluded the possibility of dispersal by ocean currents, accusing others of "Botanical romance". His own "romantic" ideas were pointed out by Beccari, Chiovenda, Merrill and others but Thor Heyerdahl was misled by them. Cook (1910) History of the coconut palm in America. Contr US Natn Herb 14, 271-342
Ceylon coconuts were introduced to Ghana in 1910. Johnson & Harries, 1976
Zanzibar - "According to the shape of the nuts there are at least three varieties known of the common Cocos . Their exact description has still to be done. Additionally there is the mnazi ya Pemba, a shorter variety, which normally does not have a bole with egg-shaped, orange-yellow nuts which are only used as drink nuts. This seems to be the variety which is known as tembili or King Coconut coming from Ceylon. Also in Zanzibar there occurs rarely and as a curiosity a dwarf, known as mnazi ya kitamli." Stuhlmann (1909, p.20)
Sri Lanka - According to Pollard (1909) the Dutch in Sri Lanka planted so-called waste land in 1742 so that by 1909 hundreds of miles of the southwest coast was unbroken coconut.
Lethal yellowing - It is now thought that the disease reported from Cuba was lethal yellowing (Horne, 1908) and the first serious epidemic in Baracoa from 1905 to 1910 decimated the coconuts to such an extent (Bruner & Boucle, 1943) that the USA, as post-colonial administrator in Cuba, chose to promote a coconut industry in their Philippines dependency
Seemüller & Harries, 2009
Horne, W.T. (1908) The bud rot and some other coconut troubles in Cuba. Bull. 15, Estac. Cent. Agron. de Cuba.
All about the coconut palm, including practical instructions for planting and cultivation
Ferguson, J. (1907) Coconut planters manual 4th ed, Colombo.
Excellent artificial butter - Shea butter refined mixed with coconut oil makes an excellent artificial butter which can hardly be distinguished from dairy butter.
Dip & Cons. Rept. 3763 Fr. W. Africa ap. 1907, p.10.
Cocos chloroleuca Barb.Rodr., Contr. Jard. Bot. Rio de Janeiro 6: 135 (1907) is an unplaced name.* A homotypic synonym is Syagrus chloroleuca (Barb.Rodr.) Burret, Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 13: 692 (1937).
Cocos edulis Barb.Rodr., Contr. Jard. Bot. Rio de Janeiro 4: 105 (1907) is an unplaced name.* A homotypic synonym is Syagrus edulis (Barb.Rodr.) Frambach ex Dahlgren, Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Bot. Ser. 14: 113 (1936).
*Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants. 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. Continental Publishing, Deurne; Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2003). World Checklist of Palms. 1. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Madagascar - In discussing coconut varieties introduced to Madagascar from the Comoro Islands, Prudhomme mentions two sub-varieties of Coco Sultan one giving dwarf coconuts and the other giving coconut palms of tall habit. Coco Sultan is clearly another name for King coconut. Prudhomme refers to the Bulletin du jardin colonial. (Lafort, 1902) and says that "The Pemba dwarf coconut, or Merassi . . . doubtless represents the dwarf sub-variety of the Sultan Coconut named Irassi or Mourassi".
Ceylon - Ferguson considered that the Portuguese did not do much about the coconut in Ceylon (from 1517) and it was only after the arrival of the Dutch (in 1658) that there was a stimulus in planting. As late as 1740 the coast between Colombo and Kalatura remained almost unplanted. In forty years more than 6 times the area was covered with coconut palm than can be credited to previous kings and governors in 1260 years between AD 589 and 1840. The manufacture of coir became important under the Dutch, being supplied and exported mainly to Batavia and the Cape of Good Hope. Between 1806 and 1813 about 3 million coconuts, 28,000 measures of oil 3,500 cwt of copra and 20,000 cwt of coir where sent from Ceylon to India. Little or no coconut oil was sent to Europe in the first quarter of the century. In 1820 Captain Boyd, an Aberdeen navigator, took home the first cargo of coconut oil ever exported from Ceylon. Captain Stewart also took a cargo of coconut oil home in 1820. When Boyd's cargo arrived there was difficulty persuading anyone to purchase it until it was used for lubrication in a woolen mill.
Ferguson, J. (1906) The coconut palm in Ceylon: Beginning, rise and progress of its cultivation. Journal No 57 Volume XIX, Royal Asiatic Society, Ceylon Branch.
Coconut Species and Varieties - Concluding we may state that according to the whole evidence as it has been discussed by De Candolle and especially by Cook, the coconut-palm is of American origin and has been distributed as a cultivated tree by man through the whole of its wide range. This must have happened in a prehistoric era, thus affording time enough for the subsequent development of the fifty and more known varieties. But the possibility that at least some of them have originated before culture and have been deliberately chosen by man for distribution, of course remains unsettled. Coconuts are not very well adapted for natural dispersal on land, and this would rather induce us to suppose an origin within the period of cultivation for the whole group.
Species and Varieties, Their Origin by Mutation by Hugo De Vries
Cocos elegantissima Chabaud, Rev. Hort. 78: 144 (1906), nom. Illeg is a synonym for Butia capitata (Mart.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 504 (1916). A homotypic synonym is Butia capitata var. elegantissima (Chabaud) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 517 (1916).
Cocos erythrospatha Chabaud, Rev. Hort. 78: 144 (1906) is a synonym for Butia capitata (Mart.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 504 (1916). A homotypic synonym is Butia capitata var. erythrospatha (Chabaud) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 515 (1916).
Cocos lilaceiflora Chabaud, Rev. Hort. 78: 144 (1906) is a synonym for Butia capitata (Mart.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 504 (1916). A homotypic synonym is Butia capitata var. lilaceiflora (Chabaud) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 518 (1916).
Cocos purusana Huber, Bull. Herb. Boissier, II, 6: 271 (1906) is an unplaced name. A homotypic synonym is Syagrus purusana (Huber) Burret, Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 32: 109 (1933). Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants. 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. Continental Publishing, Deurne; Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2003). World Checklist of Palms. 1. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
East Africa - "Several varieties of coconuts are cultivated, which may be distinguished by the colour of the nuts, some of which are brown, some green, others a rich cream colour, but no attention is paid to their selection. A small species, called Pemba cocoanut (though as it is common in both Zanzibar and Pemba the reason of the name is not obvious), is grown only for the milk of the young nuts, which provides a very refreshing drink."
Lyne, 1905, p.252
Edible coconut fat - Production of edible coconut fat, suitable for cooking, begins in Ringelshain, Bohemia, and the fat is marketed under the trade name Ceres [by] Johann Schicht, 50, whose family had been making soap at Ringelshain since 1848 . . .
Trager, J (1996) The Food Chronology: a food lover's compendium of events and anecdotes, from prehistory to the present, p386
Seychelles - In the Seychelles, coconut palms raised from seed introduced from Ceylon in 1905-1910 apparently proved unpopular.
Jamaica - Ten millions of nuts was the diminution shown in the exports of 1904-5 compared with the previous year, which had also suffered from the hurricane, and in its turn exhibited a diminution exceeding ten millions compared with the export of 1902-3. The growing of this tree is very lucrative, the nuts command a high price in the United States, and it is to be hoped that extensive new plantations will be formed.
Colonial Reports Annual, Jamaica (1904-5) page 22.
Coconut seednuts introduced to Jamaica after the 1904 hurricane came from the San Blas islands (on the Caribbean coast of Panama).
Rarontonga - Vegetation on the Cook Islands varies greatly between the high volcanic islands and the low atolls. The coconut palm flourishes nearly everywhere.
Cheesman, T.F. (1903) The flora of Rarotonga the chief island of the Cook group. Trans. Linn. Soc. Bot. Series 2, 6, 261-313.
Cocos apaensis Barb.Rodr., Sert. Palm. Brasil. 1: 100 (1903) is a synonym for Syagrus campylospatha (Barb.Rodr.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 465 (1916). A homotypic synonym is Syagrus apaensis (Barb.Rodr.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 465 (1916).
Cocos arenicola Barb.Rodr., Sert. Palm. Brasil. 1: 100 (1903) is a synonym for Butia paraguayensis (Barb.Rodr.) L.H.Bailey, Gentes Herb. 4: 47 (1936). Homotypic synonyms are Butia arenicola (Barb.Rodr.) Burret, Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 10: 1051 (1930) and Syagrus arenicola (Barb.Rodr.) Frambach, Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Bot. Ser. 14: 109 (1936).
Cocos barbosii Barb.Rodr., Sert. Palm. Brasil. 1: 86 (1903) and Cocos cogniauxiana Barb.Rodr., Sert. Palm. Brasil. 1: 102 (1903). are unplaced names (Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants. 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. Continental Publishing, Deurne; Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2003). World Checklist of Palms. 1. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew).
Cocos dyeriana Barb.Rodr., Sert. Palm. Brasil. 1: 95 (1903) is a synonym for Butia paraguayensis (Barb.Rodr.) L.H.Bailey, Gentes Herb. 4: 47 (1936). Homotypic synonyms are Syagrus dyeriana (Barb.Rodr.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 466 (1916) and Butia dyeriana (Barb.Rodr.) Burret, Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 13: 696 (1937).
Cocos hassleriana Barb.Rodr., Sert. Palm. Brasil. 1: 101 (1903) is a synonym for Syagrus campylospatha (Barb.Rodr.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 465 (1916) A homotypic synonym is Syagrus hassleriana (Barb.Rodr.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 466 (1916).
Cocos wildemaniana Barb.Rodr., Sert. Palm. Brasil. 1: 101 (1903) is a synonym for Butia paraguayensis (Barb.Rodr.) L.H.Bailey, Gentes Herb. 4: 47 (1936). Homotypic synonyms are Butia wildemaniana (Barb.Rodr.) Burret, Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 10: 1050 (1930) and Syagrus wildemaniana (Barb.Rodr.) Frambach ex Dahlgren, Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Bot. Ser. 14: 124 (1936).
Bronx Zoo - The International Wildlife Conservation Park, situated in Bronx Park, New York City, and known popularly as the Bronx Zoo, opened in 1899 and within three years the New York Botanic Garden published a scientific article on coconut.
Kirkwood and Gies (1902) Chemical study of the coconut and some notes on the changes during germination. Cont. NY Bot. Gdn.
Erect Foliage Stems - The caudex (cauloma, caudex) has the greatest claim of all the series of erect foliage-bearing stems to be compared to a standard. . . As a rule, the height of palms is much exaggerated ; there is a great temptation, especially in the case of isolated stems, to estimate them as much higher than they really are. This is on account of an optical illusion which comes into play just as in the estimation of the heights of mountains. An isolated mountain peak rising up abruptly is, at first sight, always thought to be higher than a continuous ridge which gradually ascends in gentle slopes, although both may have exactly the same elevation; and the same thing occurs in estimating the height of stems. . . The caudex of the Cocoa-nut Palm (Cocos nucifera) attains a height of 32 metres, . . . Most other palms are lower than this, the great majority never exceeding 30 metres.
The natural history of plants by Anton Kerner von Marilaun 1902Vol 1 Page 712. [NB: No mention is made of stem curvature in coconut].
Cocos glazioviana Dammer, Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 31(70): 21 (1902) is a synonym for Syagrus petraea (Mart.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 467 (1916). A homotypic synonym is Syagrus glazioviana (Dammer) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 466 (1916).
Cocos urbaniana Dammer, Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 31(70): 22 (1902) is a synonym for Syagrus flexuosa (Mart.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 466 (1916). A homotypic synonym is Syagrus urbaniana (Dammer) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 468 (1916).
Dry climates of interior localities in Colombia - were "the only conditions where this palm could be expected to maintain its existence in a wild state" even though they could no longer be found in those areas. There was an ulterior motive for this theory - to encourage coconut cultivation in hot, dry (but irrigable) parts of southern California and New Mexico.
Cook, O.F. (1901) The origin and distribution of the cocoa palm. Contr US Natn Herb 7, 257-293.
Coconut introduced into Uganda in 1901 and said to fruit fairly well.
Thomas, A.S. (1940) Fruits and vegetables. Appendix Tothill, J.D. Agriculture in Uganda. OUP. p490.
Cocos arechavaletana Barb.Rodr., Contr. Jard. Bot. Rio de Janeiro 1: 43 (1901) is a synonym for Syagrus romanzoffiana (Cham.) Glassman, Fieldiana, Bot. 31: 382 (1968).
Cocos catechucarpa Barb.Rodr., Contr. Jard. Bot. Rio de Janeiro 1: 41 (1901) is a synonym for Syagrus picrophylla Barb.Rodr., Prot.-App. Enum. Palm. Nov.: 45 (1879). A homotypic synonym is Syagrus catechucarpa (Barb.Rodr.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 465 (1916).
Cocos stolonifera Barb.Rodr., Contr. Jard. Bot. Rio de Janeiro 1: 40 (1901) is a synonym Butia stolonifera (Barb.Rodr.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 492 (1916). A homotypic synonym is Butia stolonifera (Barb.Rodr.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 492 (1916).
Cocos amadelpha Barb.Rodr., Palm. Hassler.: 7 (1900) is a synonym for Butia paraguayensis (Barb.Rodr.) L.H.Bailey, Gentes Herb. 4: 47 (1936). Homotypic synonyms are Butia amadelpha (Barb.Rodr.) Burret, Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 10: 1050 (1930) and Syagrus amadelpha (Barb.Rodr.) Frambach ex Dahlgren, Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Bot. Ser. 14: 108 (1936).
Cocos campicola Barb.Rodr., Palm. Hassler.: 6 (1900) is a synonym for Butia campicola (Barb.Rodr.) Noblick, Palms 48: 42 (2004). Homotypic synonyms are Syagrus campicola (Barb.Rodr.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 465 (1916) and Butia campicola (Barb.Rodr.) Noblick, Palms 48: 42 (2004).
Cocos campylospatha Barb.Rodr., Palm. Hassler.: 9 (1900) is a synonym for Syagrus campylospatha (Barb.Rodr.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 465 (1916) which is a homotypic synonym.
Cocos capanemae (Barb.Rodr.) Drude in H.G.A.Engler & K.A.E.Prantl (eds.), Nat. Pflanzenfam., Nachtr. 2: 56 (1900) is a synonym for Syagrus schizophylla (Mart.) Glassman, Fieldiana, Bot. 31: 386 (1968). Homotypic synonyms are Arikuryroba capanemae (*) Barb.Rodr., Pl. Jard. Rio de Janeiro 1: 5 (1891) and Cocos arikuryroba Barb.Rodr., Palm. Matogross. Nov.: 25 (1898). [* Basionym/Replaced Synonym].
Cocos equatorialis Barb.Rodr., Palm. Hassler.: 38 (1900) is a synonym for Syagrus inajai (Spruce) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 467 (1916).
Cocos lilliputiana Barb.Rodr., Palm. Hassler.: 5 (1900) is a synonym for Syagrus graminifolia (Drude) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 466 (1916). A homotypic synonym is Syagrus lilliputiana (Barb.Rodr.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 467 (1916).
Cocos quinquefaria Barb.Rodr., Palm. Hassler.: 13 (1900) is a synonym for Syagrus coronata (Mart.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 466 (1916). Cocos pynaertii auct., Gard. Chron., III, 1891(1): 683 (1891). A homotypic synonym is Syagrus quinquefaria (Barb.Rodr.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 467 (1916).
1899 Monkeys and orang-outangs - are very expert in destroying the tough outer covering of the cocoa-nut, though quite two inches thick. They insert their teeth into the tapering end of the nut, where the shell is very uneven, hold it firmly with the right foot, and with the left tear the covering to pieces. Then thrusting a finger into one of the natural apertures they pierce a hole, drink the milk, break the shell on some hard object and eat the kernel.
Birds and All Nature Vol V, No 2, February 1899 [and 100 years later, see Siex, K.S. & Struhsaker, T.T. (1999) Colobus monkeys and coconuts: a study of perceived human-wildlife conflicts. Autonomic and Autocoid Pharmaclogy 36(6) 1009-1020].
East Africa - The coconut palm is planted in large numbers and provides a high yield of copra. There is one special variety on Pemba, which has been disseminated from this island to Zanzibar and the mainland, it is called Nazi ya Pemba a short variety with short leaves and yellow-red nuts containing a very delicious juice"
Baumann 1899, p.12.
Coconut - Jamaica circa 1899
Copyright by C.H. Graves, Philadelphia.
Cocos paraguayensis Barb.Rodr., Palm. Paraguay.: 9 (1899) is a synonym for Butia paraguayensis (Barb.Rodr.) L.H.Bailey, Gentes Herb. 4: 47 (1936). Homotypic synonyms are Butia yatay var. paraguayensis (Barb.Rodr.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 503 (1916), Butia paraguayensis (Barb.Rodr.) L.H.Bailey, Gentes Herb. 4: 47 (1936), Syagrus paraguayensis (Barb.Rodr.) Glassman, Fieldiana, Bot. 32: 151 (1970) and Butia yatay subsp. paraguayensis (Barb.Rodr.) Xifreda & Sanso, Hickenia 2: 207 (1996).
Cocos sapida Barb.Rodr., Palm. Paraguay.: 12 (1899) is an unplaced name. A homotypic synonym is Syagrus sapida (Barb.Rodr.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 468 (1916). Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants. 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. Continental Publishing, Deurne; Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2003). World Checklist of Palms. 1. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Chemical Composition - This oil contains a small amount of oleic acid, as glyceride (olein). The bulk of the oil consists of a glyceride sometimes called coconin (cocinate of glycerin), which is a mixture of several glycerides (Oudemans), chiefly laurin, the glycerin ester of lauric acid. Myristin, palmitin, and stearin are likewise present, as well as the glycerides of caproic, caprinic, and caprylic acids. The oil is separable by hydraulic pressure into a solid portion utilized in candle-making, and an oily portion used for salad dressings, illuminating purposes, the manufacture of soaps, etc.
Felter, HW and Lloyd, JU (1898) King's American Dispensatory.
Exports of copra - from the Philippines to America began to assume importance after 1898 as a result of the Spanish-American War.
French Polynesia - palms planted between 1898 and 1918 acccounted for more than a quarter of those growing 40 or 50 years later
Cocos arikuryroba Barb.Rodr., Palm. Matogross. Nov.: 25 (1898) is a synonym for Syagrus schizophylla (Mart.) Glassman, Fieldiana, Bot. 31: 386 (1968). Homotypic synonyms are Arikuryroba capanemae (*) Barb.Rodr., Pl. Jard. Rio de Janeiro 1: 5 (1891) and Cocos capanemae (Barb.Rodr.) Drude in H.G.A.Engler & K.A.E.Prantl (eds.), Nat. Pflanzenfam., Nachtr. 2: 56 (1900). * Basionym/Replaced Synonym
Mafia Island - Baumann also reports that he had seen the Pemba coconut palms in Mafia
The vegetable monarch of the atoll world - . . , tall individuals of which, rearing their plumes to a height of over eighty feet, give to the mariner his first landfall . . .all coconuts are planted (his italics) . . eye-witnesses of several wild coconut palms on Facing Island . . . and . . . Emu Park, Queensland. . the idea of a wild palm being as strange in Funafuti as that of a wild peach might be in England. , . . despite popular opinion to the contrary, a wild coconut palm is to be found throughout the breadth of the Pacific. so intimately is this palm now associated with native life that it is difficult to imagine an atoll before its introduction. , despite popular opinion to the contrary, a wild coconut palm is to be found throughout the breadth of the Pacific..So intimately is this palm now associated with native life that it is difficult to imagine an atoll before its introduction Every available rod of dry land [on Funafuti] is planted with coconuts, one tiny islet, a mere shingle bank, so swept with spray that lichens are the only other vegetable life, yet grows three poor stunted and battered palms [and even if these had dropped from nearby planted coconuts
The cultivation of the coconut is confined to the simple operations of placing a sprouting nut where it is to grow, of clearing the shrubs and vines from around it, and of gathering the produce.
Suez canal open – giving Ceylon, India, Malaya, East Africa (Moz, Tanga, Kenya), Indo-China etc coconut producers advantageous access to British, French, German, [Portuguese?] to European markets - also see Kitchener
Zanzibar - "This variety [the Pemba coconut] has no value as a copra palm . . . and is cultivated for drinking nut production only".
Baumann 1896, p.17).
The Macapuno, - “which is very rarely found, and which presents in the shell a solid mass of soft, greasy meat that is almost tasteless, is cited as a clearly distinct variety; yet the natives claim that this nut is an accident, and that no tree has ever been encountered that bears it exclusively; that Macapunos are often found on the Limbahon, Tayomamis, and other [coconut] trees. . . .”
Corsa, W.P. (1896) Nut culture in the United States. US Division of Pomology, US Gov. Printing Office; page 96 ". . .
Desiccated coconut - "Baker's Coconut Co. has its beginnings at Philadelphia, where local miller Franklin Baker, 47, accepts a cargo of fresh coconuts in lieu of cash for a consignment of flour that he has shipped to a merchant at Havana. Political unrest in Cuba has made it impossible for the merchant to raise cash. When Baker finds that he cannot sell the coconuts in Philadelphia markets, he buys machinery and develops a method for producing shredded coconut meat of uniform quality, a product which he promotes to local housewives. The coconut business will prove so successful that Baker will sell his flour mill in 2 years and establish the Franklin Baker Co., dealing in coconut meat."
Trager, J (1996) The Food Chronology: a food lover's compendium of events and anecdotes, from prehistory to the present p.346.
Maypole Margarine - in 1894, Otto Monsted, a Dane, built an enormous margarine factory near Southall station. It became the largest margarine factory in the world occupying 68 acres, with its own railway sidings and branch canal.
Cocos Island (Costa Rica) - August Gissler registered the "Cocos Island Plantation Company” in 1894 and sold stock certificates to finance the planting of crops and not at least to get the necessary fund for his treasure hunt.
Cocos Island Plantation Company
Cocos iagua Sessé & Moç., Fl. Mexic., ed. 2: 240 (1894) is an unplaced name. Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants. 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. Continental Publishing, Deurne; Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2003). World Checklist of Palms. 1. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Weed of Weeds - I do not think I knew what cocoa-nuts were till I saw those at Ceylon; there they are the weed of weeds, and grow on the actual sea-sand.
North, M., 1893. Further recollections of a happy life, Macmillan
"Cocos nucifera is a weed in some parts of the world naturalising in parts of the USA and Australia where it is not native this due entirely to human aided spread. . . . In the US it has been considered an environmental weed displacing native species. We are not talking about coastal environments here but tropical or subtropical areas where the species has been introduced and has flourished. It is not considered a serious environmental weed but people have certainly mentioned it as problematic".
Rod Randall, Weed Science Group, Agriculture Western Australia
The largest company-owned [coconut] plantations in the worlds were developed by the Portuguese in Mozambique, beginning in 1892.
Cocos odorata Barb.Rodr., Pl. Jard. Rio de Janeiro 1: 11 (1891) is a synonym for Butia capitata (Mart.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 504 (1916). A homotypic synonym is Butia capitata var. odorata (Barb.Rodr.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 513 (1916).
Cocos pulposa Barb.Rodr., Pl. Jard. Rio de Janeiro 1: 14 (1891) is a synonym for Butia capitata (Mart.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 504 (1916). Homotypic synonyms are Butia capitata var. pulposa (Barb.Rodr.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 19: 516 (1916) and Butia pulposa (Barb.Rodr.) Nehrl., Amer. Eagle 24(17): 1 (5 Sept. 1929).
Cocos pynaertii auct., Gard. Chron., III, 1891(1): 683 (1891) is a synonym for Lytocaryum weddellianum (H.Wendl.) Toledo, Arq. Bot. Estado Sáo Paulo, n.s., f.m., 2: 8 (1944).
Commercial Botany of the Nineteenth Century - COCOA-NUT and PALM OIL. The first, it is well known, is the produce of Cocos nucifera, a widely spread tropical palm; the second, the produce of Elaeis guineensis, a palm confined to West Africa. The trade in both these oils has been largely developed since 1840, and is due, to a great extent, to the energy of Price's Patent Candle Company, which had its beginnings some fifty years or more since. For some time the oil alone was imported, the cocoa-nut kernel being crushed in Ceylon, whence the bulk came. Of late years, however, both oil and dried kernel have been imported, the latter known as "coprah" which is submitted to pressure in this country.
So rapid did the utilisation of cocoa-nut oil become after the establishment of the company just referred to, that they turned out in the month of October, 1849, twenty tons of cocoa-nut candles, of the value of £1,590, and about twelve tons of stearic and composite candles, valued at £1,227. In October 1855, the quantity of stearic and composite candles made by the firm amounted to 707 tons, of the value of £79,500.
Cocoa-nut a comparative rarity - There are a good many people still living who can remember when a Cocoa-nut was a comparative rarity in some parts of England. In a few old country mansions, or on the mantel-shelves of retired sea-captains, and occasionally in London curiosity shops, might be seen strangely-figured goblets, with rims and feet of silver, and so wrought that here and there they were thin and almost translucent, that there was a gleam upon their rich, dark surfaces which gave them the appearance of being formed of some rare stone. These were made of the shells of the great cocoa-nuts, wrought in graceful or grotesque patterns by some patient native, or by an ingenious sailor on the long homeward voyage. Only the nuts themselves were articles of commerce, and they were scarce. There was but a limited demand for a luxury, a little of which, even among schoolboys went a long way.
Coconut shy - Writers who expatiate on the enormous growth of importations and the development of trade in various foreign commodities during the last sixty or seventy years, point, among other illustrations, to the immensely increased consumption of the oil extracted from the cocoa-nut, of which an enormous number of tons reach this country from Ceylon; but few of them refer to the consumption of the cocoa-nut itself, as an indication of the advance of commercial enterprise. Yet in nearly every country fair, and in almost all the open spaces round London at holiday seasons, the cocoa-nut plays so conspicuous a part that every child is acquainted with it, most children have eaten it, and large numbers have tasted the thin, rather insipid liquor that is the "milk'' in a very deteriorated condition. The origin of the now neglected game of "Aunt Sally," also an importation from the tropics, may be attributed to the cocoa-nut; and at any rate the cocoa-nut "shy'' has superseded it by providing not only for the amusement, but the cupidity of the patrons of "three sticks a penny." It has also nearly superseded the more ancient "cock shies," where the prizes were pincushions, knives, toys, and painted tin snuff-boxes - just as these covetable articles took the place of the gingerbread and gilded [. . . ] that in earlier days displaced the live cocks at which the brutal part of the population threw sticks on Shrove Tuesdays.
Enormous consumption of the nut - Cocoa-nuts have become an ordinary article of commerce in markets and many fruiterers' shops, but still the outer husks and shells are comparatively out of sight. Probably many people may still fancy that they are not brought here with the nuts in any considerable quantity, nor would the majority even of Londoners easily estimate the enormous consumption of the nut itself. A reference to the "inward'' shipping lists, or a visit to Monument Yard on Fish Street Hill, where the catalogues of the foreign fruit auctions may be seen, would disclose the fact that hundreds and thousands of tons of these [are imported every year].
Jackson, JR (1890) Commercial Botany of the Nineteenth Century. Cassell & Co, London
Andaman Islands - Prain (1890) states that Cocos nucifera is indigenous on the Coco Islands [Great & Little, lying to the north] but not in Andaman Islands, and his study does not include Nicobar Islands [lying to the south].
Prain, D. (1890) The non-indigenous species of Andaman Flora. J. As. Soc. Beng., 59 : 235-26l.
New Hebrides - I have noticed in all islands abundantly supplied with fresh water-there is always a want of coconut trees; and vice versa, in islands where there is a scarcity of water, the coconut groves spread all over
Rannie, cited by Weightman, 1989
Self-Colonization of the Coco-Nut Palm - "The question whether the coco-nut palm is capable of establishing itself on oceanic islands, or other shores for the matter of that, from seed cast ashore, was long doubted; and if the recent evidence collected by Prof. Moseley, Mr. H. O. Forbes, and Dr. Guppy, together with the general distribution of the palm, be not sufficient to convince the most sceptical person on this point, there is now absolutely incontrovertible evidence that it is capable of doing so, even under apparently very unfavourable conditions."
"With reference to Mr. Hemsley's note on this subject to Nature (p. 537), I regret to have to inform him that the two young palms found on Falcon Island were placed there by a Tongan chief of Namuka, who, in 1887, had the curiosity to visit the newly-born island, and took some coco-nuts with him. This information I received from Commander Oldham, who had been much interested at finding these sprouting nuts at some 12 feet above sea-level and well in from the shore of the island, but who found out the unexpected facts in time to save me from making a speculation somewhat similar to Mr. Hemsley's."
Brazil - The copra, or the sun-dried interior of the cocoa nut (Cocos nucifera), is not at present exported from Brazil, but the Minister of Agriculture addressed a circular, on January 4, 1889, to the Brazilian consuls abroad with the object of creating a trade in copra and the external fibres of the cocoa nut. It is suggested at the same time that by using only half the suitable land along the Brazilian sea shore 3,519,978 cocoa nut trees could be planted 15 yards apart, which would bear fruit from their sixth to their fortieth year. The copra alone would be sold at £12 per ton, and the ground by the seashore being good for nothing else, a gross profit would be made of £900,000, out of rather more than 75,000 tons. Foreign Office 1889 Annual Series No 504, Diplomatic & Consular Report on Trade & Finance, Brazil p37.
Changing attitudes to wild coconuts - an excursion flora for Java (Koorders, 1911) recorded that in 1889 such a form was easily recognised where it occurred on a remote coast by its very small fruit with extraordinarily thick and firm husk yet when a botanical reconnaissance was made of the area in 1957, coconuts were not even mentioned (Jacobs, 1958).
Porcupine Wood - "the uses of this plant are said to be as numerous as the days in a year. The timber is known as 'Porcupine Wood'". Boulger GS (1889) The uses of plants: a manual of economic botany with special reference to vegetable products introduced during the last fifty years p59
Port Sunlight - William Hesketh Lever came to the Wirral area looking for a suitable site to build a soap factory. His vision was to build, not only the factory, but also houses for all his workers. He found and bought 56 acres of land at 200 UK Pounds per acre and the building of Port Sunlight village began in 1889 with 28 houses designed by William Owen in a road named Bolton Road after Lever's birthplace.
Cocos australis Drude & Brandt, Gartenflora 38: 451 (1889) is a synonym for Syagrus romanzoffiana (Cham.) Glassman, Fieldiana, Bot. 31: 382 (1968).
Cocos picrophylla Barb.Rodr. ex Becc., Malpighia 1: 448 (1889) is a synonym for Syagrus oleracea (Mart.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 467 (1916).
Christmas Island - was annexed by the British in 1888. At that time a coconut plantation was started on the north part of the island. Captain Benson, who was shipwrecked there in 1836, estimated the number of coconut trees to be approx. 2000. When Captain James Cook discovered and named the atoll, on 24th December 1777, he saw no signs of human life, recent or ancient. Fish and seabirds were abundant and Cook's men turned about 300 turtles for fresh meat, but they counted hardly 30 coconut palms standing above the immense scrub-covered plain In 1913 Christmas Island was leased by the French catholic priest Father Emmanuel Rougier and he also used it as a coconut plantation.
Anderson et al (2000) Towards a first prehistory of Kiritimati (Christmas) Island,
Cocos orbignyana Becc., Malpighia 2: 147 (1888) is an unplaced name. Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants. 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. Continental Publishing, Deurne; Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2003). World Checklist of Palms. 1. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Cocoa-nut pearls - "In 1887 coconut pearls earned their first mention in Nature, in a letter from S.J. Hickson describing two such pearls he obtained in North Celebes after a particular search there. J.G.F. Riedel, formerly the Dutch Resident officer, at Menado, in another letter to Nature in 1887 mentioned that he possessed fourteen coconut pearls, one of which he found himself in 1866 at Holontalo, North Celebes 'in the endosperm of the seed of the cocoanut'".
Haile, N.S. (1974) The Quest for the Mysterious Coconut Pearl. The Straits Times Annual pp 75-77, 159.
Margarine - In 1813 Chevreul (the world famous fat-chemist) had isolated impure palmitic acid and called it margarine. Later this name was given to impure tripalmitin and impure oleopalmitin was called oleomargerine. Mouries lodged a patent for margarine in 1869 after working on cow's milk and beef tallow. So rapidly did the margarine industry expand that towards the turn of the 19th century it was realised that an acute shortage of solid fats would have to be faced. there was an enormous increase in the export of American oleo-oil (the liquid fraction of tallow) to Europe. An alternative was the incorporation of coconut oil which had first been made possible in 1887 when FW Loder developed a suitable refining method to remove the sharp, unpleasant taste (sic) from this oil (see Schwitzer). At first this refined coconut oil found an outlet only in the confectionery industry, but when, around the turn of the century, margarine production came into its own the product found a ready market. In France Rocca, Tassey & de Roux built the largest coconut oil refinerey of that time in 1885. Meanwhile two French chemists, Sabaier & Senderens discovered catalytic hydrogenation which patent was first used in England in 1906. Hydrogenation meant that any fat could be used.
van Stuyvenberg, J.H. (1969) margarine: an economic, social and scientific history.
Schwitzer, M.K. (1956) Margarine and other food fats p 65.
Cocos chavesiana Barb.Rodr. ex Becc., Malpighia 1: 445 (1887) is a synonym for Syagrus inajai (Spruce) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 467 (1916). A homotypic synonym is Syagrus chavesiana (Barb.Rodr. ex Becc.) Barb.Rodr., Vellosia 1: 52 (1888).
Cocos chiragua (H.Karst.) Becc., Malpighia 1: 446 (1887) is a synonym for Syagrus sancona (Kunth) H.Karst., Linnaea 28: 247 (1856). Homotypic synonyms are Platenia chiragua (*) H.Karst., Linnaea 28: 250 (1856) and Syagrus chiragua (H.Karst.) H.Wendl. in O.C.E.de Kerchove de Denterghem, Palmiers: 257 (1878). [*Basionym/Replaced Synonym].
Cocos drudei Becc., Malpighia 1: 445 (1887) is a synonym for Syagrus cocoides Mart., Hist. Nat. Palm. 2: 130 (1826). A homotypic synonym is Syagrus drudei (Becc.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 466 (1916).
Total number of cocoanut trees in the world – Messrs. Ferguson, in the last issue of their Ceylon Handbook, have given the total number of coconut trees in the world as 'perhaps 280,000,000, bearing fully 10,000,000,000 nuts every year. South America . . . heads the list with 1,000,000 acres under the cocoanut palm; Ceylon is second, with 500,000 acres; British India and dependencies third, with 480,000 acres.'
Madras Mail 31 March 1886; cited by Shortt, 1885 (footnote added in press).
Sunlight Soap - The first experimental boil of Sunlight Soap was made at Warrington on 27 October 1885. The formula settled that day - a mix of coconut or palm kernel oil, resin and tallow - varied little until the 20th century.
Williams, E 1988 Port Sunlight: the first hundred years
Origin of cultivated plants - de Candolle wrote “. . . Martius believes it to have been transported by currents from the islands situated to the west of Central America, into those of the Asiatic Archipelago. I formerly inclined to the same hypothesis1 since admitted without question by Grisebach;2 but the botanists of the seventeenth century often regarded the species as Asiatic, and Seemann,3 after a careful examination, says he cannot come to a decision. I will give the reasons for and against each hypothesis . . .”
1. A. de Candolle, Géogr. Bot Raisonnée, p. 976; 2. Grisebach, Vegetation der Erde, pp. 11, 323; 3. Seemann, Flora Vitiensis p. 275.
200 years lifespan - Dr. Gill states that "This palm is indigenous to all the islands of the Pacific. The natives of hundreds of atolls would perish but for this tree, which covering them with verdure is the first indication of land. To the eye of the voyager these palms seem to grow out of the ocean; on nearer inspection they are found to spring out of sand, shingle, and broken coral. And yet this invaluable palm grows freely in the fine rich loam of the valleys and seaboard of fertile volcanic islands like Tahiti, Rarotonga, etc.” He akso claims “The coconut palm attains the age of from 180 to 200 years in well sheltered places" [but does not give any evidence to prove it]
Jottings from the Pacific, 1885, p. 203.
Cocos gaertneri W.Watson, Gard. Chron., n.s., 1885(1): 439 (1885) Cocos gaertneri W.Watson, Gard. Chron., n.s., 1885(1): 439 (1885) is an unplaced name. [Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants. 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. Continental Publishing, Deurne; Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2003). World Checklist of Palms. 1. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Vegetable products introduced during the last fifty years - "cocoa-nut or copra oil, of which 244,399 cwt were imported for our soap and candle factories in 1884"
Boulger GS (1889) The uses of plants: a manual of economic botany with special reference to vegetable products introduced during the last fifty years p143
Cocos sancona (Kunth) Hook.f., Rep. Progr. Condition Roy. Bot. Gard. Kew 1882: 72 (1884) is a synonym for Syagrus sancona (Kunth) H.Karst., Linnaea 28: 247 (1856). Homotypic synonyms are Oreodoxa sancona* Kunth in F.W.H.von Humboldt, A.J.A.Bonpland & C.S.Kunth, Nov. Gen. Sp. 1: 304 (1816). Oenocarpus sancona (Kunth) Spreng., Syst. Veg. 2: 140 (1825). Palma sancona (Kunth) Kunth, Enum. Pl. 3: 182 (1841), Syagrus sancona (Kunth) H.Karst., Linnaea 28: 247 (1856) and Calappa sancona (Kunth) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 982 (1891). *Basionym/Replaced Synonym
An ape or monkey trained to gather coconuts: “. . . a hideous beast on very long legs when on all fours, but capable of walking erect. They called him a "dog-faced baboon," but I think they were wrong . . . . He is fierce, but likes or at all events obeys his owner, who held him with a rope fifty feet long. At present he is only half tame, and would go back to the jungle if liberated. He was sent up a coconut tree which was heavily loaded with nuts in various stages of ripeness and unripeness, going up in surly fashion, looking around at intervals and shaking his chain angrily. When he got to the top he shook the fronds and stalks, but no nuts fell, and he chose a ripe on. and twisted it round and round till its tenacious fibers gave way, and then threw it down and began to descend, thinking he had done enough, but on being spoken to he went to work again with great vigour, picking out all the ripe nuts on the tree, twisted them all off, and then came down in a thoroughly bad, sulky temper. He was walking erect, and it seemed discourteous not to go and thank him for all his hard toil”.
Isabella Bird "The Golden Chersonese and the Way Thither", 1883, page 425
Tape worm remedy - "rediscovered" in 1985?
Anon (1882-3) The coconut a remedy for tape-worm. Tropical Agriculturalist (Ceylon) 2, 308.
Chowhan,G.S.; Joshi,K.R.; Bhatnagar,H.N.; Khangarot,D. (1985) Treatment of tapeworm infestation by coconut (Cocos nucifera) preparations. J Assoc Physicians India 33(3) 207-209.
Cocos marocarpa (Barb.Rodr.) Barb.Rodr., Palmiers: 26 (1882) is a synonym for Syagrus macrocarpa Barb.Rodr., Prot.-App. Enum. Palm. Nov.: 46 (1879). A homotypic synonym is Syagrus macrocarpa* Barb.Rodr., Prot.-App. Enum. Palm. Nov.: 46 (1879). * Basionym/Replaced Synonym
Miami Beach - began in 1881 as a coconut plantation planned by Henry Lum. Developer John S. Collins, one of 60 investors in the project, helped bring 100,000 coconuts from Trinidad to plant on Miami Beach and Key Biscayne. They blanketed the area, including 10,000 of them on Lum's land south of 14th street.
Woods, C (2004) Tall palm trees help park bloom. Miami Herald, May 16, 2004, page 3MB.
Fruit trade in New York - Cocoa-nuts were imported from the following named places during the past year, viz.: Baracoa, 3,112,006; San Andreas, 1,540,863; Aspinwall (per steamers), 560,602; Carthagena, 374,492; Falmouth, 245,000; Ruatatan, 217,500; Montego Bay (per steamers), 158,863; Honduras, 139,800; Port Antonio, 132,704; Port Maria, 100,000; Kingston (per steamers), 55,000; Gilarie, 38,800; St. Jago, 21,600; Mayaguez (part cargoes),10,430; St. Anne’s Bay, 8,200; San Domingo (per steamer), 7,000; Maricaibo, 3,000, making a grand total of 8,205,578 cocoa-nuts, which comprised the cargoes and parts of cargoes of 114 vessels, exclusive of steamers. Of the above, 662,249 cocoa-nuts perished on the voyage, a loss of 8 per cent. A comparison of the above with the imports of 1878, the result shows a decrease of 981,307 cocoa-nuts.
JH Bostwick , Inspector of Customs , Burling-slip , New York
From Drummond, V (1881) Fruit trade in New York In: [Embassy Reports] 1881 page 238.
6,640 cocoanuts - collected from the island of Bonaca by the sloop Volusia in 1881-2
Coggeshall, G. (1858)
Cocos acaulis Drude and Cocos acaulis var. glabra in C.F.P.von Martius & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Bras. 3(2): 426 (1881) are synonyms for Syagrus comosa (Mart.) Mart. in A.D.d'Orbigny, Voy. Amér. Mér. 7(3): 134 (1847). Homotypic synonyms are Calappa acaulis (Drude) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 982 (1891) and Syagrus acaulis (Drude) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 465 (1916).
Cocos acrocomioides Drude in C.F.P.von Martius & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Bras. 3(2): 409 (1881) is a synonym for Syagrus romanzoffiana (Cham.) Glassman, Fieldiana, Bot. 31: 382 (1968). A homotypic synonym is Calappa acrocomioides (Drude) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 982 (1891).
Cocos eriospatha Mart. ex Drude in C.F.P.von Martius & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Bras. 3(2): 424 (1881) is a synonym for Butia eriospatha (Mart. ex Drude) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 496 (1916). Homotypic synonyms are Calappa eriospatha (Mart. ex Drude) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 982 (1891), Butia eriospatha (Mart. ex Drude) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 496 (1916) and Syagrus eriospatha (Mart. ex Drude) Glassman, Fieldiana, Bot. 32: 145 (1970).
Cocos graminifolia Drude in C.F.P.von Martius & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Bras. 3(2): 415 (1881) is a synonym for Syagrus graminifolia (Drude) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 466 (1916). Homotypic synonyms are Calappa graminifolia (Drude) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 982 (1891) and Syagrus graminifolia (Drude) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 466 (1916).
Cocos martiana Drude & Glaz. in C.F.P.von Martius & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Bras. 3(2): 418 (1881) is a synonym for Syagrus romanzoffiana (Cham.) Glassman, Fieldiana, Bot. 31: 382 (1968). A homotypic synonym is Calappa martiana (Drude & Glaz.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 982 (1891).
Cocos procopiana Glaz. ex Drude in C.F.P.von Martius & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Bras. 3(2): 412 (1881) is a synonym or Syagrus macrocarpa Barb.Rodr., Prot.-App. Enum. Palm. Nov.: 46 (1879). A homotypic synonym is Calappa procopiana (Glaz. ex Drude) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 982 (1891).
Cocos syagrus Drude in C.F.P.von Martius & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Bras. 3(2): 406 (1881) is a synonym for Syagrus cocoides Mart., Hist. Nat. Palm. 2: 130 (1826).
Cocos weddellii Drude in C.F.P.von Martius & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Bras. 3(2): 411 (1881) is a synonym for Syagrus cocoides Mart., Hist. Nat. Palm. 2: 130 (1826). A homotypic synonym is Calappa weddellii (Drude) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 982 (1891).
Refining cocoanut-oil Be it known that I, ALEXANDER P. ASHBOURNE, of Boston . . . have invented certain new and useful improvements for the preparation of cocoanut-oil for medicinal and general toilet purposes . . . boiling it with sugar, eggs, and alum, substantially as and for the purpose set forth,
Ashbourne, A.P. (1880)
de Rays Expedition - for the glorification of France and the Roman Catholic Church, Charles, Marquis de Rays proclaimed himself King of New France, advertised Cape Breton (New Ireland) as a thriving settlement and sold hundred of hectares of land to gullible European settlers. Most died of starvation or malaria before being rescued and sent to Australia. According to Dwyer (1938) “Mr. Manton, also an ex-planter of many years standing, now resident in Australia, . . . was also a member of the “de Ray" expedition. He says that the ill-fated members of that expedition introduced selected nuts from New Hebrides and New Caledonia to the southern end of New Ireland. Palms derived from these nut are still known to some old planters in the Namatanai district and are said to produce large nuts with thick husks.
Forbes' "Notes on Cocos nucifera". Journal of Botany.
Cocos datil Drude & Griseb., Abh. Königl. Ges. Wiss. Göttingen 24: 283 (1879) is a synonym for Syagrus romanzoffiana (Cham.) Glassman, Fieldiana, Bot. 31: 382 (1968). A homotypic synonym is Calappa datil (Drude & Griseb.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 982 (1891).
Cocos geriba Barb.Rodr., Prot.-App. Enum. Palm. Nov.: 43 (1879) is a synonym for Syagrus romanzoffiana (Cham.) Glassman, Fieldiana, Bot. 31: 382 (1968).
Cocos leiospatha Barb.Rodr., Prot.-App. Enum. Palm. Nov.: 44 (1879) is a synonym for Butia capitata (Mart.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 504 (1916). Homotypic synonyms are Calappa leiospatha (Barb.Rodr.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 982 (1891) and Butia leiospatha (Barb.Rodr.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 520 (1916).
Cocos rupestris Barb.Rodr., Prot.-App. Enum. Palm. Nov.: 45 (1879) is a synonym for Syagrus petraea (Mart.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 467 (1916).
Coconut in Australia - Mueller (1867) and Thozet (1869), both described coconut palms from locations on the Queensland coast. These reports were summarised by Bentham (1878) in Flora Australiensis, ". . . stunted and crooked growth in the open sandy flats of Keppel Bay and about 30 ft high".
Bentham, 1878 Flora Australiensis: a description of the plants of the Australian Territory. G. Reeve, London. from Dowe, JL & Smith, LT (2002) A Brief History of the Coconut Palm in Australia. Palms 45 (2)
Coconut in Florida - It was an ill wind that brought large numbers of coconuts to the Sunshine State. In February 1878 the brigantine Provedentia left Trinidad loaded with coconuts. Its destination was Spain, but just off the Florida coast the ship was pounded apart by a powerful winter storm. The cargo of coconuts floated up to the beach at Lake Worth where the citizens of that frontier settlement helped themselves to hundreds of nuts. From the Provedentia's cargo came thousands of descendants of the Trinidadian palms. Palm Beach was well named since at one time there were 350,000 coconut palms growing on a 65-mile stretch from Cape Florida to Jupiter Inlet.
Doris Reynolds, Let's Talk Food, Daily News , May 19, 2004
Cocos butyrosa H.Wendl. in O.C.E.de Kerchove de Denterghem, Palmiers: 140 (1878) is a synonym for Attalea humilis Mart. ex Spreng., Syst. Veg. 2: 624 (1825).
Cocos elegantissima H.Wendl. in O.C.E.de Kerchove de Denterghem, Palmiers: 241 (1878) is an unplaced name. Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants. 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. Continental Publishing, Deurne; Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2003). World Checklist of Palms. 1. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Cocos insignis Mart. ex H.Wendl. in O.C.E.de Kerchove de Denterghem, Palmiers: 241 (1878) is a synonym for Lytocaryum weddellianum (H.Wendl.) Toledo, Arq. Bot. Estado Sáo Paulo, n.s., f.m., 2: 8 (1944).
Cocos maritima Comm. ex H.Wendl. in O.C.E.de Kerchove de Denterghem, Palmiers: 241 (1878) is a synonym for Lodoicea maldivica (J.F.Gmel.) Pers. ex H.Wendl. in O.C.E.de Kerchove de Denterghem, Palmiers: 250 (1878).
Cocos yurumaguas H.Wendl. in O.C.E.de Kerchove de Denterghem, Palmiers: 241 (1878) is an unplaced name.Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants. 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. Continental Publishing, Deurne; Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2003). World Checklist of Palms. 1. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Honduras - Peter Jackson started Honduras United Fruit near Tela and had a coconut oil mill.
Cocos inajai (Spruce) Trail, J. Bot. 15: 79 (1877) is a synonym for Syagrus inajai (Spruce) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 467 (1916). Homotypic synonyms are Maximiliana inajai* Spruce, J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 11: 163 (1869) and Syagrus inajai (Spruce) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 467 (1916). * Basionym/Replaced Synonym
Burma - Kurz (1876) states that Cocos nucifera grows wild in Great Coco Islands, a group of few islands in Burmese territory situated north of Landfall Island, the northernmost of the Andaman group and south of Cape Negrais of Burma.
Kurz, S. (1876) A sketch of the vegetation of Nicobar Islands. J. As. Soc, Beng., 45 (2) 105-164.
The Patent Cocoa Fibre Company (Limited) - The interests of the business were to some extent safeguarded by the Society of Cocoanut Fibre Mat and Matting Weavers, which met in February 1875 to protest about the use of prison labour to make cheap mats. Although the Kingston works turned out a greater variety of goods than could be produced in prisons, the Company felt it was being put at an unfair disadvantage with regard to mats and matting. By the end of that year, the Cocoa Fibre Company was seeking to wind up its business, although permission was not, at that time, granted.
Surrey Comet, 24 April 1901, p 8.
Cocos aequatorialis Barb.Rodr., Enum. Palm. Nov.: 38 (1875) is a synonym for Syagrus inajai (Spruce) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 467 (1916).
Cocos speciosa Barb.Rodr., Enum. Palm. Nov.: 38 (1875) is a synonym for Syagrus inajai (Spruce) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 467 (1916). A homotypic synonym is Calappa speciosa (Barb.Rodr.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 982 (1891).
Frankland Island, No. 4 Queensland - On the extreme end of the island we found two clumps of cocoanut-trees, extending for about fifty yards inland, but within reach of the sea spray. They were twenty-eight in number; thirteen of them were bearing, and the other will bear in the course of two or three years. Three or four of them were about fifty feet in height. The trunks, in some cases, were much cut; and two trees had been felled, no doubt for the purpose of obtaining the nuts. It is to be regretted that there is no means of preserving cocoanut-trees from destruction in this way, for there is no necessity for cutting them down in order to obtain the fruit. [Note that these same coconuts were reported twenty-five years earlier by John MacGillivray, naturalist to the Rattlesnake voyage, when they "succeeded in shooting down a number" to drink].
Hill, W. (1874) Report of the Botanist. In: Narrative and Reports of the Queensland North-east Coast Expedition 1873. p52. Government Printer, Brisbane.
Coconut Grove, Miami - Had it not been for an American Union army doctor named Horace Porter there would be no Coconut Grove, that part of Miami that is a tribute to the coconut. Porter discovered a few coconut palms near the tiny settlement of Miami in 1873. He decided to establish a settlement there and thus Coconut Grove was born.
Doris Reynolds, Let's Talk Food, Daily News , May 19, 2004
East Africa - Coconuts abundant in Zanzibar in 1860 but after a hurricane in 1872 majority destroyed. Few on east coast mainland but none in the interior.
Grant, J.A. (1872/75) Addendum to the botany of the Speke & Grant Expedition. Trans. Linn. Soc 29, Part 1, 187-188.
The completed atoll - "It is doubted whether the ocean is ever successful in planting the cocoanut on coral islands. The nut seems to be well fitted for marine transportation, through its thick husk, which serves both as a float and a protection; but there is no known evidence that any island never inhabited has been found supplied with cocoanut-trees. The possibility of a successful planting by the waves cannot be denied; but there are so many chances that the floating nut will be kept too long in the water, or be thrown where it cannot germinate, that the probability of a transplanting is exceedingly small."
Dana, J.D. (1872) Corals and Coral Islands. p 240.
Yap - David Dean O'Keefe, an American sailor who had been shipwrecked on Yap a year earlier (he'd been on a pearl-diving expedition), returns (in 1872). He uses a Chinese junk to transport stone money from the island of Palau to Yap in exchange for copra, the meat of coconut. He then exports the copra to Asia.
Yap: The land of stone money
The Medicinal Properties of the Cocoa-Nut - . . . The cocoa-nut is not a recognized medicinal plant in European practice, though the oleine obtained by pressure from the crude oil and refined, has been used as a substitute for cod-liver oil . . . The crude oil, as brought into England, is obtained by boiling and pressing the white kernel or albumen. While in a fresh state, and in a liquid form, this oil is of a pale yellow color, and almost without smell; it is much used in cookery by the natives, but becomes partially solid and turns rancid before it arrives in this country, where, for the purposes of the candle-maker, the stearine or solid fat is separated from the fluid.
In the Fiji islands the milk is very extensively used, but it has been supposed, with how much truth we are not able to say, that the continued use of it predisposes to the dropsical complaints which are said to prevail in those islands.
The toddy or wine which is obtained from the flower-spikes is described as being very refreshing and delicious, taken before sunrise [unfermented]
By John R. Jackson, A.L.S.,
Curator of the Museums, Royal Gardens, Kew.
Cocos orinocensis Spruce, J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 11: 161 (1871) is a synonym for Syagrus orinocensis (Spruce) Burret, Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 13: 695 (1937). Homotypic synonyms are Calappa orinocensis (Spruce) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 982 (1891), Maximiliana orinocensis (Spruce) Speg., Physis (Buenos Aires) 3: 170 (1917) and Syagrus orinocensis (Spruce) Burret, Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 13: 695 (1937).
Cocos weddelliana H.Wendl., Florist & Pomol. 1871: 114 (1871) is a synonym for Lytocaryum weddellianum (H.Wendl.) Toledo, Arq. Bot. Estado Sáo Paulo, n.s., f.m., 2: 8 (1944). Homotypic synonyms are Syagrus weddelliana (H.Wendl.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 468 (1916), Lytocaryum weddellianum (H.Wendl.) Toledo, Arq. Bot. Estado Sáo Paulo, n.s., f.m., 2: 8 (1944) and Microcoelum weddellianum (H.Wendl.) H.E.Moore, Gentes Herb. 9: 267 (1963).
"Coperah" from Ceylon.
Yeats, J. (1870) The Natural History of Commerce. London: Cassell, Petter & Galpin. Cocoanut pp189-191.
Procter & Gamble - after successfully marketing soap and candles, Procter & Gamble extended its manufacturing and marketing efforts to include lard, another byproduct of the animal processing industry.
The King coconut was introduced to Jamaica from Ceylon (via Kew Gardens). It cannot now be traced.
After Wallace left South America (see 1853) he went to the East Indies where he described coconut palms at night, illuminated by bonfires of their old leaves "The effect was most magnificent - the tall stems, the fine crowns of foliage, and the immense fruit-clusters, being brilliantly illuminated against a dark sky, and appearing like a fairy palace supported on a hundred columns, and groined over with leafy arches".
Wallace, A.R. 1869 The Malay Archipelago. Richard Clay & Sons, London
Niu leka - The Niu leka was reported from Samoa (Powell) and is found under the same name in Tonga and Fiji. The same type is the Mahina Dwarf in the Cook Islands, from where it was taken to Tahiti where it is known as `Haari haeha' (Whitehead). It is also called the Fiji Dwarf, perhaps because its commercial possibilities were first investigated there
Powell, T. (1868) On various Samoan plants and their vernacular names. J. Bot. 6, 278-285, 342-347, 355-370.
Bilocular coconut - At Silhouette, [in the Seychelles] where there is one of the most complete and best paying Cocoa-nut farms, there is to be found one cocoa-nut of moderate age, growing in wood soil, and surrounded by other trees, all in full bearing; but it itself seldom ever producing a well developed fruit. I was not there when it was in blossom, but I saw it with four stalks of ordinary dimension; one of which, when examined closely, was seen to consist of a number of strangely metamorphosed fruits. These were but hastily examined by me at the time; but the conclusion I came to on the spot was – that in none of the fruits were the hard shells developed, & that in all there were two carpels. After the fruit reached a certain stage of development, it split; giving the appearance of a flower, of which the calyx would consist of the epidermic and fibrous portion of the fruit, and the corolla of the soft shell (detached completely from the former). On one bunch there was a fairly developed fruit, which, on opening, was found to consist of two carpels with a false development between them, redividing the nut into two. There was also one other fruit on the tree, which I took away with me, but have not opened; it has but two eyes, & is evidently made up of two carpels. I also took a bunch of the altered fruits, which I hope will come safely to hand; there was not another instance to be found on the estate, of, say some 180,000 trees.
Letter from Dr. P. Wright FLS, of Dublin, to Dr Hooker and read before the Linnaen Society on Jan 7, 1868.
The largest hailstones . . . "were as large as coconuts and good-sized mangoes" falling near Bellary, India, on 28 March 1867. Some weighed "six seers, or three pounds".
Meteorological Magazine, December 1993.
Western Samoa - commercial planting by German companies took place mainly between 1865 and 1881. In 1966 Whitehead commented on the uniformity of those plantations.
Cocos argentea Engel, Linnaea 33: 690 (1865) is a synonym for Syagrus sancona (Kunth) H.Karst., Linnaea 28: 247 (1856). Homotypic synonyms: are Syagrus argentea (Engel) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 465 (1916) and Butia argentea (Engel) Nehrl., Amer. Eagle 24(17): 1 (5 Sept. 1929).
Cocoa-nut Pudding — Pare off the rind and wipe the nut dry; dissolve two ounces of sugar in a small teacup of water. Boil the sugar a few minutes, and add the grated cocoa-nut; keep stirring the mixture until it boils. When nearly cold, add the beaten yolks of three eggs, a dessert-spoonful of orange flower- water, a wineglassful of brandy, and a piece of butter the size of an egg. Line the dish with pastry. Pour the mixture in; bake it, and sift sugar over it before serving.
Godey's Lady's Book and Magazine, April, 1864, Volume LXVIII, Philadelphia, Louis A. Godey, Sarah Josepha Hale, 92 pages
The Royal Horticultural and National Rose Show - ". . . a Cocoa-nut, ripened in the Duke of Northumberland's stove at Syon, for which a first-class certificate was awarded by the Fruit Committee. It will be recollected that this nut was set and began to swell under the management of Mr. John Smith, now Curator at Kew, and its maturation has taken place under the eye of Mr. Fairbairn, who is the present gardener."
The Journal of Horticulture, Cottage Gardener and Country Gentleman. A magazine of gardening, rural and domestic economy, botany and natural history. Volume 7, page 3 July 5, 1864.
Australia - description of the plants of the Australian Territory.
Bentham, G. (1863-1878) Flora Australiensis: Reeve, London.
The coconut palm at Syon - The following is the kind of treatment to which this has been subjected in the tropical house here. In May 1860, when I first paid particular attention to it, I found that the plant had been, and then was, in an unhealthy state. The soil in which it grew I considered entirely unsuitable for it; I therefore disrooted it, removing as much of the old soil as was consistent with safety, replacing it with compost consisting of three-fourths old turfy loam from a pasture and one-fourth rotted cow dung and leaf mould, with just sufficient river sand to keep the whole in open condition. After this was done I gave the whole a good soaking with water to which a little common salt was added, and in two months I had the satisfaction of seeing a much finer young leaf than had ever before been on the plant. I continued to give copious waterings weekly as follows, viz., two weeks pure rain water, the next liquid manure from a cow-house tank, in the proportion of 1 gallon to 4 gallons of rain water, the following week a weak application of common salt and water, and so on successively. In the mean time the plant began to improve in health and to grow fast. From January 1861 I withheld water to a great extent till the latter end of February, when I again gave a fresh top-dressing of compost like that above described, and watered as before. The plant continued to grow most luxuriantly and on the 20th October last  the flower spathe appeared in sight, and opened on the 23rd ult. [January 1862] As regards size I may add that the circumference of the stem at the ground is 2 feet; from the ground to the base of the leaves is 2½ feet; the leaves are 12½ feet long and 5 feet in width. The temperature at which the house was kept in summer was as follows, viz., morning, 70° with a range from 25° to 30° higher at noon; in winter, morning 70° with a range 10° higher at mid-day; the bottom heat in summer was from 85° to 95°; and in winter from 95° to 105°. I may mention that in sunny weather the plant was always very closely shaded, and that the atmosphere of the house was constantly kept very moist.
J. Smith. The Gardens, Syon, Brentford.
The Gardeners Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, February 8, 1862; pp. 117-118.
Alappuzha lighthouse, Kerala - Constructed using locally available laterite stones and teak, the lighthouse first had a fixed coconut wick lamp with metal reflector, before the Port Officer, Hugh Crawford, procured from Chance Brothers, Birmingham, a flashing light with nine Cata-dioptric lenses and nine coconut oil wick lamps with polished reflectors, capable of sending three powerful light beams to a distance of 17 nautical miles. This was used for over 90 years.
Dunnage - Coker-nuts -- as they are now generally called, and indeed "entered" as such at the Custom-house, and so written by Mr. Mc Culloch, to distinguish them from cocoa, or the berries of the cacao, used for chocolate, etc. -- are brought from the West Indies, both British and Spanish, and Brazil. They are used as dunnage in the sugar ships, being interposed between the hogsheads, to steady them and prevent their being flung about. The coker-nut was introduced into England in 1690. They are sold at public sales and otherwise, and bring from 10s. to 14s. per 100. Coker-nuts are now used at fairs to "top" the sticks. The costermongers rarely speculate in coker-nuts now, as the boys will not buy them unless cut, and it is almost impossible to tell how the coker-nut will "open." The interior is sold in halfpenny-worths and penny-worths. These nuts are often "worked with a drum." There may be now forty coker-nut men in the street trade, but not one in ten confines himself to the article.
Henry Mayhew (1861) London Labour and the London Poor, volume 1
Chemical analysis - of a reputed coconut pearl obtained in Singapore, showing it to be composed almost entirely of calcium carbonate with a little organic albuminous matter, and no cellulose.
Bacon, J (1861,1862)
Floatation aids - Shipmasters, who touch at these [Pacific] islands to get fresh provisions for their crews, say that they have known children not more than three years old to swim out to the ship anchored in the offing, having only a cocoa nut, with the husk left on, to buoy themselves up with in the water.
Jacob Abbott, American History, 1: Aboriginal America, New York: Sheldon.
Fish and chips - " . . . industrial soap factories started large scale national advertising of their products, with the pre-packaged brand names which still survive today. This competition put the small, local soap boilers out of business. These small operators would already have turned to using coconut oil since it produces a particularly useful soap (and is still used today in toiletries such as hair shampoo). What did they do when they found that their soap no longer sold? They converted the existing equipment - deep copper pans over open fires - and the same raw material - coconut oil - to deep-fry fish and chips". Joseph Malin opened a fish and chip shop in Cleveland Street within the sound of Bow Bells in 1860.
Cod and chips - coconut and soap: is there a connection. Fish Friers Review, p. 22, October 1988
Cocos plumosa Hook.f., Bot. Mag. 86: t. 5180 (1860) is a synonym for Syagrus romanzoffiana (Cham.) Glassman, Fieldiana, Bot. 31: 382 (1968). A homotypic synonym isCalappa plumosa (Hook.f.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 982 (1891).
Cocoanuts shipped to England – In 1859 I took to England about 1,000 cocoanuts, young and old. They kept well during the voyage of four months.
Cocoanuts to Bullion. UK Public Record Office.
First doctoral thesis on palms? [as suggested by Dennis Johnson].
Regnaud, C. (1856) Histoire naturelle, hygiénique et économique du cocotier (Cocos nucifera Linn). Fac. Medic. Paris
Coquetiers en coco - Alors M. Lheureux exhiba délicatement trois écharpes algériennes, plusieurs paquets d'aiguilles anglaises, une paire de pantoufles en paille, et, enfin, quatre coquetiers en coco, ciselés à jour par des forçats [Then Monsieur Lheureux delicately exhibited three Algerian scarves, several packets of English needles, a pair of straw slippers, and finally, four eggcups in cocoanut wood, carved in open work by convicts].
Gustave Flaubert (1856) Madame Bovary (Chapter 14).
Candles - "Cocoa-nut oil is one of the best-known products of this Palm, from its extensive employment in Europe, especially for making the excellent candles known as Stearine . . . made in such enormous quantities and of such excellent quality under Mr. G. Wilson's intelligent superintendence at Belmont, Vauxhall."
Forbes Royle, J. (1855) The fibrous plants of India. Smith, Elder and Co. London. pp 102-123 Cocoa-nut tree and fibre.
Crimean War - . . . £1,000 of equipment and solid coconut fuel was shipped to Russia to a war remembered as much for the appalling conditions in which the men fought as for the glory or folly of its battles.
A History Of Price's Candles
Five separate and distinct liquids from the same tree! - As the stream issued from the rock in the wilderness, so the cocoa-nut tree yields a pure draught from a dry and barren land; a cup of water to the temperate and thirsty traveler; a cup of cream from the pressed kernel; a cup of refreshing and sparkling toddy to the early riser; a cup of arrack to the hardened spirit-drinker, and a cup of oil, by the light of which I now extol its merits - five separate and distinct liquids from the same tree!
Colpettytopes - Cocoa-nut Toddy - Arrack - Cocoa-nut Oil – Cocoa-nut-planting
Sir Samuel White Baker (1855) Eight Years' Wanderings in Ceylon
Coker Nut - The Cocoa or Coker Nut (Archer, pp35-36)
Archer TC (1854) First Steps in Economic Botany (abridgement of Popular Economic Botany)
Child, R. (1956) The spelling of "Coconut". Chemistry and Industry, 1522
Cod-liver Oil and Cocoa-nut Oil - ". . . during the administration of cod-liver oil to phthisical patients their blood grew richer in red corpuscles, and he refers to a previous observation of Dr. Franz Simon to the same effect. The use of almond-oil and of olive-oil was not followed by any remedial effect, but from cocoa-nut oil results were obtained almost as decided as from the oil of the liver of the Cod, and the author believes it may turn out to be a useful substitute. The oil employed was a pure cocoa oleine obtained by pressure from crude cocoa-nut oil, as expressed in Ceylon and the Malabar coast from the Copperah or dried cocoa-nut kernel, and refined by being treated with an alkali and then repeatedly washed with distilled water. It burns with a faint blue flame, showing a comparatively small proportion of carbon, and is undrying."
"On the Changes produced in the Blood by the administration of Cod-liver Oil and Cocoa-nut Oil" By THEOPHILUS THOMPSON, M.D., F.R.S. Received March 30, 1854. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 7, 41-42.
Amazon - In 1853, A.R. Wallace, the co-discoverer of the theory of evolution, could write about the coconut palm in the Amazon region "It is in a foreign land. It flourishes . . . but no part of it is applied to any useful purpose, the fruit only being consumed as an occasional luxury. In the towns and larger villages where the Portuguese have settled it has been planted, but among the Indians of the interior it is still quite unknown".
Wallace, Palm Trees of the Amazon.
The Completed Coral Island - The coral island in its best condition is but a miserable residence for man. There is poetry in every feature: but the natives find this a poor substitute for the breadfruit and yams of more favored lands. The cocoanut and Pandanus are, in general, the only products of the vegetable kingdom afforded for their sustenance, and fish and crabs from the reefs their only animal food. Scanty too is the supply; and infanticide is resorted to in self-defence, where but a few years would otherwise over-stock the half-a-dozen square miles of which their little world consists. Yet there are more comforts than might be expected on a land of so limited extent,— without rivers, without hills, in the midst of salt water, with the most elevated point but ten feet above high tide, and no part more than 300 yards from the ocean. Though the soil is light and the surface often strewed with blocks of coral, there is a dense covering of vegetation to shade the native villages from a tropical sun. The cocoanut, the tree of a thousand uses, grows luxuriantly on the coral-made land, after it has emerged from the ocean; and the scanty dresses of the natives, their drinking vessels and other utensils, mats, cordage, fishing-lines, and oil, besides food, drink, and building material, are all supplied from it.
Dana, 1853. On Coral Reefs and Islands, p.43.
From small beginnings - Thomas Treloar was an accountant in Bristol when he married and a warehouse clerk in London until he entered into a coconut fibre business which he later owned. This was known as Treloar and Son Carpet Co and his son William left school at the age of 15 to work in the family business. They printed “The Prince of Palms”, based on a pamphlet originally written to promote coir matting. To gain some improvements in Ludgate Hill, the London business district where Treloar's Carpet Co. was located, William went into politics, was knighted in 1900 and made Baronet in 1907 on becoming Lord Mayor of London. Known as "The Children's Lord Mayor" he was greatly interested in poor and crippled children and “The Lord Mayor Treloar Cripples' Hospital and College” at Alton, Hampshire has become one of the country’s leading providers of education, care, therapy, medical support and independence training for disabled young people. still in operation. Treloar’s coconut matting remained in business until . . .
Cocos nana Griff., Not. Pl. Asiat. 3: 166 (1851) is a synonym for Cocos nucifera L., Sp. Pl.: 1188 (1753).
The Dutch produced regular reports on coconut cultivation in Indonesia between 1850 and 1881.
1850 Coconut not imported for any other economic purpose - "Mr Poole* stated that in 1850 the imports were 1,575,000 nuts, or the enormous weight of 1575 tons; and be it remembered the cocoa-nut is merely used as a luxury, chiefly by children, and is not imported for any other economic purpose".
* Statistics of British Commerce.
Archer, T.C. (1854) The Cocoa or Coker Nut pp 35-36. First Steps in Economic Botany (abridgement of Popular Economic Botany).
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew - In 1849, William J. Hooker, then Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, founded a new botanical periodical: 'Journal of Botany and Kew Garden Miscellany', which he also edited. Each issue featured a section of `Botanical Information', short articles, sometimes illustrated, on a range of subjects that included economic botany. For instance, the following description of palm tapping practices in India, with two hand-colored lithographic plates, appeared in Volume 2 1850, pages 23-27, under the title, 'Toddymen and Toddy Implements'.
Johnson, D.V. (2000) Hooker's illustrated account of coconut palm tapping in mid 19th century India. Palms & Cycads 67, 22-26.
Frankland Islands - ". . . Oswald W. Brierly, expedition artist on the voyage of the HMS Rattlesnake, made a revealing entry in his ship's diary. It tells of how a rare grove of mature, fruiting coconut palms had been discovered by the ship's crew on one of the Frankland Islands, south of Cairns. Brierly noted his surprise in finding such a grove of mature trees, the first to be found during many years of exploration of the coast and islands. This unpublished artistic record, which includes an illustration and written description, places the earliest recorded date for a population of mature, wild-growing coconut palms in Australia back to 1848."
Smith, L.T. (2001) Leaflet by leaflet - painting the palms of north Queensland. Palms 45(3) 127-135.
Barnard Isle No. IV - "Two small clumps of coco-nut trees, loaded with fruit, were found on the eastern side of the island, within reach of the spray, in a place where they might have originated from a floating nut or two thrown upon the beach, This is the only instance in which I have seen this useful plant growing wild in any part of Australia, or the islands strictly belonging to it. We succeeded in shooting down a number, and I know no more grateful beverage than the milk of a young cocoa-nut, especially under the influence of tropical noon-day heat, on an island where there was not a drop of fresh water to be found".
MacGillivray, J. (1852) Narrative of the voyage of HMS Rattlesnake. London, T. & W. Boone.
See also Hill, 1874.
Niu-foi - coconuts having a circumference of more than 60 cm had been found in the islet of Niu-foi from Tonga (Teuira Henry, 1928). This islet has even taken the name of the newly discovered coconut variety, as its name Niu-foi means new coconut.
Görgey - remains one of the most disputed personalities in Hungarian history. His military and political activity is the subject of a vast number of books and even of plays; he is sometimes presented as the betrayer of the War of Independence and sometimes as a clever and realistic politician. It is almost completely forgotten in this literature that he is the same Görgey who is cited in organic chemistry textbooks as the discoverer of lauric acid. He made this discovery while carrying out an analysis of coconut oil during his stay in Prague. After saponifying and liberating the fatty acids, he separated them by means of distillation and found in the residue, through fractional crystallization, a component whose analysis indicated an unknown fatty acid consisting of twentyfour (today twelve) carbon atoms.
Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 2008. Encyclopedia.com. 14 Aug. 2014 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.
Tahiti - The finest orchard of cocoa-palms I know, and the only plantation of them I ever saw at the islands, is one that stands right upon the southern shore of Papeetee Bay. They were set out by the first Pomaree, almost half a century ago; and the soil being especially adapted to their growth, the noble trees now form a magnificent grove, nearly a mile in extent. No other plant, scarcely a bush, is to be seen within its precincts. The Broom Road passes through its entire length.
Herman Meville - Omoo: Adventures in the South Seas. Chapter 69 (1847) John Murray, London & Harper & Brothers, New York
Nitroglycerine - The development of dynamite from nitroglycerine between 1846 and 1867 had the remarkable effect of turning a once discarded by-product of soap manufacture, glycerine, into the more profitable side of the business.
Anon (1912) The Cult of the Coconut: a popular exposition of the coconut and oil palm industries. Curtis Gardner, London.
Manumission - Coconut cultivation needs a small labour force and provides year-round work. A change to coconut production suited many sugar plantations when the high and seasonal labour demands of that crop could no longer be met in the decade following the abolition of slavery.
Commercial planting in Ceylon - In Ceylon (Sri Lanka) commercial plantations were first laid down during the 1840's (Child). Tennent affirms that there were more than 20 million coconut palms on the island in his time (1861) of which 5 million were cultivated to produce toddy, 11.5 million provided around 460 million fruits, and the remaining 3.5 million were for other purposes (Chiovenda).
Child, 1974 Tennent 1861 Chiovenda 1921-3 Webbia 5, 199-294 & 359-449.
Cocos australis Mart. in A.D.d'Orbigny, Voy. Amér. Mér. 7(3): 95 (1844) is a synonym for Syagrus romanzoffiana (Cham.) Glassman, Fieldiana, Bot. 31: 382 (1968). A homotypic synonym is Calappa australis (Mart.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 982 (1891).
Cocos petraea Mart. in A.D.d'Orbigny, Voy. Amér. Mér. 7(3): 100 (1844) is a synonym for Syagrus petraea (Mart.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 467 (1916).
Cocos pityrophylla Mart. in A.D.d'Orbigny, Voy. Amér. Mér. 7(3): 99 (1844) is an unplaced name.* Homotypic synonyms are Ceroxylon pityrophyllum (Mart.) Mart. ex H.Wendl. in O.C.E.de Kerchove de Denterghem, Palmiers: 239 (1878) and Calappa pityrophylla (Mart.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 982 (1891). *Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants. 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. Continental Publishing, Deurne; Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2003). World Checklist of Palms. 1. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Cocos yatay Mart. in A.D.d'Orbigny, Voy. Amér. Mér. 7(3): 93 (1844) is a synonym for Butia yatay (Mart.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 498 (1916). Homotypic synonyms are Calappa yatay (Mart.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 982 (1891), Butia yatay (Mart.) Becc., Agric. Colon. 10: 498 (1916) and Syagrus yatay (Mart.) Glassman, Fieldiana, Bot. 32: 157 (1970).
The industrial process for making soap, patented in 1841, required a cheap source of oil. [Coconut oil, from copra (the dried endosperm of the nut) provided it.]
Harries, 1978 [correction - copra was not traded until the 1860s (see ... )]
Cocos naja Arruda ex Kunth, Enum. Pl. 3: 288 (1841) is an unplaced name. Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants. 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. Continental Publishing, Deurne; Govaerts, R. & Dransfield, J. (2003). World Checklist of Palms. 1. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Prices's composite candles - . . . there was a potential market in England for a mid-priced candle that gave a brighter cleaner light than tallow but was not as expensive as beeswax. What William Wilson and his partner discovered in 1830 was a new raw material and a scientific process that would allow them to manufacture such a candle. The firm they set up, Edward Price and Co, would make candles from coconuts! Wilson took out a license on an 1829 patent for the hydraulic separation of coconut fats, the partners built a candle factory at Vauxhall on the Thames in South West London, a crushing mill just up river at Battersea and invested in 1,000 acres of coconut plantation in Sri Lanka. The initial results were not that impressive, but the infant company had a couple of good breaks: in 1831 candle tax was abolished and by 1835 it had developed better chemical processes to obtain solid fats. . . . By 1840 the perfect product was ready for Queen Victoria's wedding. It was traditional for every loyal household to burn a candle in its front room window on the evening of the monarch's wedding, and in London on February 20th most people lit one of Price's new stearine 'composite' candles made from a mixture of refined tallow and coconut oil.
A History Of Price's Candles
Queen Victoria - For the purpose of the general illumination on the occasion of Her Majesty's marriage in 1840, Price's Candle Company introduced a cheap candle that should require no snuffing, composed of a mixture of stearic acid and cocoa-nut stearine. "The public, contrary to the general opinion of the candle-dealers, proved wise enough not to mind the candles being greasy, but as the light was good, the candles comparatively cheap, and the nuisance of having to snuff done away with, they received the new composite candles with great favour, and the manufacture rapidly grew."
Jackson, JR 1890 Commercial Botany of the Nineteenth Century. Cassell & Co, London
Cocos indica Royle, Ill. Bot. Himal. Mts.: 395 (1840) is a synonym for Cocos nucifera L., Sp. Pl.: 1188 (1753).
Nautical period: 1499 - 1839