Why are Some Coconuts Brown and Hairy?

Coconut is a popular seed, fruit, and nut; all three combined. Its meat and water are highly nutritious and refreshing to consume. However, there are many coconut varieties out there. But despite the broad varieties, coconuts are all the same. 

Coconuts are among the most consumed fruits in the world. They are also called “the tree of life,” as everything in coconut is valuable. You can use them to make drinks, musical instruments, utensils, food, fuel, fiber, etc.  

Here, we’ll respond to the main question “why are some coconuts brown and hairy” and share other information you need to know about coconuts. Read on!

Why are Coconuts Hairy?

The two significant reasons coconuts are hairy are safety and survival. Here’s an explanation of this.

Coconut trees grow very tall. Additionally, the fruits fall once matured, though they still drop down prematurely. Imagine what would happen to a fruit that falls from such a massive height and lands on the ground. It could crack and lose the water inside.

When coconut fruits fall to the ground and crack, they could start decaying within a day. And once the fruit goes bad, the meat would become unsuitable for consumption. 

So, how does being hairy help coconut? The coconut’s hairiness helps protect the fruit from cracking when it lands on the ground. Mature coconuts also boast hard husks as additional protective measures. 

Another reason coconut boasts a hairy husk is the climate the plant grows. The plant sometimes grows in extreme and dry temperatures, so the major challenge the plant face is how to keep the seed alive until it can germinate.

So, when the coconut fruit falls on a piece of land where water is scarce, it has to survive for a while until the conditions are ideal for the seed to germinate and grow.

You can think of coconut’s hairy husk as a crash helmet that protects the fruit from the heavy impact that can damage it. Thanks to the hairy husk, the fruit won’t experience any damage when it lands on the ground. 

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Coconut is also buoyant enough to float on the sea waves and still germinates when it reaches the land, and the conditions are right to grow. It would interest you that the coconut fruit can remain afloat in the sea for months and still germinate when it reaches the land. 

13 Different Types of Coconuts

Coconuts are vital in the culinary world. People used them to prepare a range of cuisines. But in recent years, coconut has become an integral part of the cosmetics industry. 

This fruit has become useful for making skincare products, hair oils, and other cosmetics products. It is also packed with a huge amount of vitamins and minerals that can nourish your body. Thus, coconut consumption is highly beneficial. It can improve your health, skin, and even hair.

However, different kinds of coconut exist, though some are more common than others. Read to learn more about the different types of coconut out there. 

1. The Fiji Dwarf Coconut

This coconut variant has increased in popularity throughout Florida in the last few decades. But something significant happened to the state’s Fiji dwarf coconut in the 1980s. The majority of them got destroyed but re-emerged in the 1990s.

These coconut variants are now more resistant to the ailment that almost wiped them out back in the day. They also boast some traits that make them more desirable. 

The Fiji dwarf coconut can withstand poor wind quality excessive rain and survive under poor soil conditions. According to the U.S. Agricultural Research Service, the Fiji Dwarf is coconut variant is highly disease resistant. 

A Handy Tip:   The Fiji dwarf coconut got the name “dwarf” because it can produce a wide range of fruits despite being short. This coconut variant also grows one foot in height annually as it gets older. 

2. The Golden Malay

These coconut fruits are imported from Indonesia but are widely grown in Bulgaria. The fruits boast a brownish and bronze tinge. And when ripe, they display reddish color. 

The Golden Malay can provide good quality drinking water and it is popularly used for cooking. This coconut variant thrives in well-drained soils and grows 12 meters tall and 8 to 12 meters wide. 

3. The West Coast Tall Coconut

This coconut variant is one of the tallest across the globe. It is taller than the East Coast Tall Coconut and produces more fruits annually. 

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The West Coast Tall Coconut can survive on any soil that can tolerate moisture perfectly. The tree also takes around six to seven years to begin fruit-bearing. This coconut variant can also produce over eighty to ninety nuts or fruits per year. 

4. The East Coat Tall Coconut

This coconut variant can begin fruit-bearing within six to eight years. And it can produce approximately seventy nuts per year. 

The East Coast Tall Coconut is moderately resistant to destructive pests like mites, bugs, and insects. And it thrives in loamy soils or any other well-drained soils. 

5. The VHC1 Coconut

As the name implies, the VHC1 is a hybrid coconut. It was produced via a cross between the Malayan Dwarf and East Coast Tall Coconut. 

This coconut is highly fertile, as it can produce over eighty to one hundred nuts per year. The VHC1 Coconut also starts producing fruits after four years. 

6. The Maypan Coconut

This coconut variant is popular in the Jamaican areas, and it was developed in the mid-nineties. Researchers were concerned about the yellow disease that wiped out many coconuts and wanted to produce a coconut palm with high resistance against this disease. 

Today, this coconut variant is not only present in Jamaica. You can also find it in some areas of Latin America, including Florida. This coconut tree can also reach 60 feet in height and boasts minimal moisture requirement. However, full sun is essential for this coconut to blossom. 

The Maypan Coconut variant is also a cross between the Panama Tall and the Malayan Dwarf. 

Now, let’s share information on the Panama Tall coconut variety. 

7. The Panama Tall Coconut

The Panama Tall is also known as the Pacific Tall. This coconut variant produces stunning fruits. And what’s more, it can withstand extreme weather conditions such as storms and wind.

The Panama Tall is also regarded as one of the most cold-tolerant coconut varieties in nature. It can also grow 90 feet tall.

8. The Macapuno Coconut

These coconuts are widely cultivated in several parts of the Asian continent. They are also a delicacy and are employed in several cuisines in the Asian region. 

This coconut fruit boasts a firm but soft texture. And they are adored for their incredible nutritional benefits.

9. The King Coconut

This coconut is native to the Sri Lanka region, but they are abundant in some parts of India. This coconut variant can produce fruits throughout the year. Its fruits are harvested after seven to eight months of emergence. 

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The King Coconut produces a flavorful liquid that hydrates, refreshes, and cools you. Its fruits are high in amino acids, vitamins, and other essential minerals like potassium and phosphate. 

10. The Malayan Yellow Dwarf Coconut

This coconut variant is abundant in tropical regions and boasts a high yield. It is a hybrid coconut variant widely cultivated in several countries worldwide.  

The Malayan Yellow Dwarf is abundant in Thailand, Fiji, and Brazil. 

11. The Dwarf Orange Coconut

As the name implies, the Dwarf Orange Coconut produces orange-like fruits considered meaty while the water is sweet. This coconut variant has a forty years lifespan and grows 5 meters tall. 

12. The Green Dwarf Coconut

The issue with this coconut variant is their susceptibility to root wilt disease. But besides this, the Green Dwarf can produce over sixty to seventy fruits annually. 

13. The Tiptur Tall Coconut

This coconut can produce up to seventy to eighty fruits annually and requires low maintenance to thrive. Thus, it is a wise choice for individuals looking to cultivate coconut in their home gardens. 

Difference Between Green Coconuts And Brown Coconuts

There are not so many differences between green and brown coconuts. Both emerge from the same coconut palm called Cocos nucifera. 

The significant difference between both coconuts lies in their maturity. The green coconuts haven’t ripened or matured, while the hairy brown coconuts are the opposite

Unlike the green coconuts, the brown ones have matured completely. They also have more meat than green coconuts. 

However, the green coconuts are adored for their healthy and refreshing water. 

The brown coconuts boast less water and have firmer meat, while the younger green coconuts tend to have more water

Conclusion: So, why are some coconuts brown and hairy?

The brownish color is an indication that the coconut has ripened. And the hairy husk help in protecting coconuts from crack when they land on the ground.

Being hairy also helps coconut fruits survive extreme conditions for a considerable period until they are ready to germinate and grow. 

However, we also mentioned that diverse coconut variants exist. And finally, we stated the difference between green and brown coconut. In a nutshell, if you’re interested in drinking coconut water, green coconut is a wise choice. But if you’re interested in the meat, the brown coconut is a better option, as it is meaty. 

About Sylvette Brown

Sylvette is a homemaker and is passionate about cooking and other kitchen-related stuff. She also loves to do home improvement related tasks and keeps on writing about food and cookware on her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her 2 little kids. :)