NIU (R"588) Cocos nucifera Linn., (palmae)
Tall, monoecious palm, without spines; trunk rinbged with broad leaf-scars, often curved and leaning, up to 30m high or more; leaves 3-6m long, short and stourly peerioled, pinnate' pinnae numerous, linear, 50-70cm long, 5cm wide, acuminate at apex, shining, dark-green; inflorence arising from leaf-axils; spathe boat-shaped, more or less woody; spadix with numerous branches; staminate flowers 1-1.;2cm long, pistillate flowers 2.5cm across; fruit ovoid or ellipsoid, bluntly 3-angled, 20-30cm long, the fibrous husk 2-4cm thick; seed with hollow endosperm about 1cm thick, filled with clear liquid; cultivated and semi-wild; a plant with many uses, trunks and timber for building and bridges, leaves for baskets, fans and thatch, fruits for drinking, for culinary purposes, for copra and oil; many varieties, some introduced, are grown. Coconut palm. The following varieties are listed, mainly by Christophersen (1935,38)
• AFA: Large, long and narrow fruits with thick husk, favoured for making sinnet ('afa);
• ALAVA: fruits light green;
• 'INI'INI: fruits small, with thin shell and heavy kernel; a Savaii name recorded by Reinecke;
• LA'ITA: small palm with large clusters of numerous light yellowish-brouwn fruit, favoured for a fresh beverage; ornamental;
• LE'A: dwarf palm, with heavy butt and bole, and dense crown and large fruits; indigenous and introduced; dwarf coconut, Malayan dwarf, Fiji hybrid dwarf;
• TAUAGA: fruits oblong, with almost parallel sides, fibres used as strainers for coconut milk (lolo);
• TAUAVE: probably a distinct species, see NIU TAUAVE;
• TAULUA SAMI: small fruits, the shells strung in pairs and used to carry salt-water for making palusami (taro-leaf with coconut milk);
• TETEA: fruit ovate, medium-sized, in sub-mature stage, light-green to almost white; a distinct variety, rare; white coconut;
• VAI: fruits large and round, the shells being valued as water bottles;
• TOGAU: fruit with juicy husk, sweet and edible together with the shell and kernel, in the sub-mature stage.
The stages in development of the fruits of the coconut are determined by tapping with the knuckle, each stage having a descriptive name:
NIU TAU'AVE (C'38) and NIU SASAVE
Diplothemium henryaanum F. B. H. Brown (Palmae) Palm, to 10-15m high; leaves pinnate, glaucous orn pale beneath; spadix simple, spicate, 100cm long, spathes 2; only female flowers seen, these crowded in spirals, bracteate, sessile; fruits few, 2-3 in each spadix, irregularly ovoid, obliquely simmetrical, about 16cm diameter, 26-28cm long, with a curved terminal beak; husk thin, nut about 12-14cm across; plant very similar in size and general appearance, to Cocos nucifera; but differing in the thick unbranced spadix, spirally-arranged flowers and the double spathe; rare in Samoa. So-called female coconut palm.
References from Parham, 1972
• BACKER, C. A. and BAKHUIZEN VAN DER BRINK, R. C. 1963 - 68: "Flora of Java", Walters Noordhoff N. V., Groningen.
• CHEESEMAN, T. T. 1925: "Manual of the New Zealand Flora", 2nd ed. Government Printer, Wellington.
• SHEESMAN, E. E. 1948: Classification of the bananas 111c and d. Kew Bull. 2: 145-147.
• SHEESMAN, E. E. 1949: Classification of the bananas 111m. kew bull. 2: 445-9.
• CHRISTENSEN, E. 1943: Revision of Pteridophyta of Samoa, Bull. Bernice P. Bishop Mus. 177.
• CHRISTOPHERSEN, E. 1935: Flowering Plants of Samoa, Bull. Bernice P. Bishop.
• Mus. 128.
• CHRISTOPHERSEN, E. 1938: Flowering Plants of Samoa, Bull. Bernice P. Bishop Mus. 154.
• DRAMEER, S. F. 1902-3: "Die Samoa-Inseln, Entwurf einer Monographie mit besponderer Berucksichtigung Deutsch-Samoa," Vol. 2 Schweizerbartsche Verlag, Stuttgart. Pp 359-88.
• MARTELLI, U. 1934: Samoan Pandanaceae, Occ. Pap. Bernice P. Bishop Mus.
• PARHAM, B.E.V. 1956: Noxious weeds, Laufasi Ola, Department of Agriculture
• Circular, Apia, 1(2 and 3).
• PARHAM, B.E.V. 1957: some Samoan plant names, Laufasi Ola, Department of Agriculture. Circular, Apia, 2(5 and 7).
• PARHAM, B.E.V. 1958: some Samoan plant names, Laufasi Ola, Department of Agriculture. Circular, Apia, 3 (5, 8 and 11).
• PARHAM, B.E.V. 1960: Annual Report for 1959, Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries Apia. 32pp.
• PARHAM, J. W. 1964: "Plants of the Fiji Islands," Government Press, Suva.
• PRATT, G. 1911: "Grammar and Dictionary of the Samoan Language," 4th ed., Malua Printing Press, Malua, Western Samoa.
• REINECKE, F. 1896: Die Flora der Samoa-Inseln, (1 Kryptogamen). Engl. Jahrbh. 23: 237-368.
• REINECKE, F. 1896 1898: Die Flora der Samoa-inseln, 9Siphonogamen), Engl. Jagrbh. 25: 578-708.
• SEEMAN, B. 1865-73: "Flora Vitiensis", Reeve, London.
• SETCHELL, W. A. 1924: "American Samoa", Vol. 20. Department Marine Biology Carnegie Institute, Washington.
• WRIGHT, A. C. S. 1963: soils and land use of Western Samoa. N. Z. Soil bur. Bull. 22: 34 (figs 22 and 23).
• SIMMONDS, N. W. 1957: Botanical Results of the banana collecting expedition 1954-5. Kew Bull. 1956: 463-89.
• YUNKER, T. G. 1945: Plants of the Manua Islands, Bull. Bernice P. Bishop Mus. 184.