Is Coconut a Fruit or Seed?

Today we are gonna talk about Coconuts. Is Coconut a Fruit or Seed? Coconut is a fruit for sure. Coconut is a single-seeded Drupe. It is also known as a dry drupe. A Drupe is a subcategory of Fibrous Fruits with a hardcover and a fleshy core. Altogether a Coconut is a fruit that contains a single seed with softcore.

We can Categorise Coconut into all three categories-i.e. Fruits, Nuts, and Seeds. It develops from a fertilized flower so it’s a fruit. There is a single seed within the coconut shell. And we usually say it a nut so that’s sufficient to explain the last one. It is a commercially important fruit, You should grow Coconut Plants if you have some open garden space.

Is Coconut a Fruit or Seed?
Is Coconut a Fruit or Seed?

Do All Fruits Have Seeds?

Coconut is a Fruit

Being a Fruit Coconut is very Unique in its structure. It has three distinct layers. Each one with specific characteristics. The outermost layer is called the exocarp. It is a Smooth covering that makes the skin of a coconut. It simply protects the internal fruit parts.

The second layer is the Mesocarp. It consists of a fibrous mess that prevents the core from shock and damage. This part makes the entire coconut coir or fiber.

The third and final part is the hard covering that covers the Seeds. It is the endocarp. This is the part that we refer to as Coconut. The round hard woody shell is there to protect the soft fleshy core.  The soft water-filled core matures to form the coconut plant. Until then it protects the tiny embryo or germ that develops into the root and shoot structure.

Altogether these layers represent a unique sunset of the Fruit family known as Drupe. The Term Drupe comes from the word drape which means overripe olive. After all, Drupe is a category of fruits that represents fruits with hard woody covering and soft fleshy core.

Which Fruits Develop seeds on the Outside?

Is coconut a seedless fruit?

Nope, It has a seed protected by hard covering. Coconut is Drupe that resembles fruit with seeds. This category of fruit has a very significant identification that makes them unique. Often These fruits have a hard outer cover and soft fleshy core just like olives. They are true fruits with specific botanical definitions. Therefore, they can’t be seedless. After all, Coconut is a drupe with a single seed.  So we can say that coconut is not a seedless fruit.

Is a coconut classed as a fruit?

Yes, coconut is a fruit. It is classified in a special category called Drupes. These are the fruits with a hard covering and soft flesh.

The journey of a coconut starts with the relatively small coconut flower. Every year 30 to 50 and sometimes more than 100 flowers bloom in a mature coconut tree. Although not all of them survive to become coconuts.

These flowers require to be fertilized. Luckily they can do it on their own without much effort. Although tiny insects, bees, and butterflies can help to improve the fertilization rate.

Once the flower gets fertilized, it will take 3to 4 months for it to become a visible size coconut. Thou it might take another 8 months to be ready for harvest.

The exocarp i.e. the outer shell covering and the hard woody endocarp is the first to develop. The development continues with the formation of fibrous mesocarp i.e. the coconut mess. At last, the fruit grows and its core becomes soft and fleshy.  This is the time when sweet coconut water fills the void.

Sometimes the coconut ball itself is considered the seed. Though it is the part of Ovary that forms the endocarp. The flesh inside it is the fruit and a tiny soft embryo or naked seed reside within it. Some of you might have seen white round softball with a single root inside a coconut. It is the coconut seed or enlarged embryo that’s ready to sprout. The root sometimes pierces out of the coconut shell through one of the three notches or eyes.

Why is coconut a fruit?

There is a lot of valid biological reasons to consider coconut a fruit. First of all, it develops from a flower. This is the basic requirement to be a fruit, it should be a grown ovary that must contain seed.

The overall structure of coconut has three distinct parts. It consists of three layers, the outer exocarp, the central mesocarp, and the final endocarp.

The hard coconut is the fruit that contains flesh and seed inside it. We all are familiar with coconut flesh. It is the soft white spherical structure inside its hard shell. Although many of you may not have seen the true coconut seed. It is one of its kind. The real coconut seed is soft white or creamy mass that grows to fill the void inside the soft flesh.

It is not very easy to identify this seed in a premature coconut. If you open a green coconut then you won’t even find the hard shell. This also takes time to mature.

First, the hard endocarp develops then the flesh fills the lining. It leaves a significant amount of space inside the shell which will eventually be filled with coconut water. In the later growth stages of coconut, you can see the embryo developing from on end.

Initially, it looks like a small white pea that eventually grows to the size of a tennis ball. It will fill the void and the coconut water will dry up by this time.

Further, This embryo stretches out a single root through one of the coconut eyes. It can take up to months for a root to break out of the hard coconut shell.

So We can say coconut is a fruit as it contains the seed inside it. Coconut is a special drupe fruit.

Is Coconut a Fruit or Seed?

Cocnut is a drupe fruit. This means you can consider it a seed if you want. The real botanical classification of coconut is a drupe. It resembles a subcategory of fruits with a hard shell and soft core. If you consider the coconut fruit then the structure contains 3 distinct layers. The part we consume is inside a hard woody shell. The hard shell is the endocarp that protects the embryo or the true seed.

This portion is the true fruit that develops from the ovary. So you can consider it as fruit. Although it is hard and there is no distinct seed with shell cover is present inside it. Therefore, we can consider coconut a whole seed as a broad classification.

Overall, The classification of coconut depends on the part you consider as the coconut. The whole package is a fruit itself. The hardball is the seed as per general consideration. So Coconut is bot Fruit and Seed. You can say whatever you want.


Hi, My name is Sukant. I am an I.T professional. Gardening for me is not just a hobby, it's a way of living life with nature. My Ancestors were Commercial farmers: So I personally feel attached to the green. I am not an expert, I'm here only to share my gardening experiences. It's always Refreshing.

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