Nong Nooch Tropical Garden harvests seeds from rare sea coconut

Nong Nooch Tropical Garden director Kampol Tansajja weighs a sea coconut before peeling them

Nong Nooch Tropical Garden peeled 11 ripe double coconuts, to harvest seeds to breed more of the rare, expensive fruit.

Park Director Kampol Tansajja participated in the March 8 show to peel the 11 sea coconuts or “double coconuts”, which has two concentric shells. The double-shelled sea coconut is so rare, it sells for 200,000 baht on the street. Single-shell sea coconuts go for half that.

Kampol said that sea coconuts are a kind of palm originally from the Seychelles islands. It has the biggest seed of all kinds of palm seeds.

Currently, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden has 38 double coconut trees, four male trees and nine females, and 25 with unknown gender. The trees themselves cost 500,000 baht each.

Kampol Tansajja peels one of the 11 humongous sea coconuts or “double coconuts”, which has two concentric shells.

Moreover, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden has a total 1,567 species of palms and more than 200 species are in the public area of the park.

Nong Nooch Tropical Garden was certified by the International Palm Society for having the most species of palms in the world.

The sea coconut got its name from ancient French sailors who found them floating in the ocean, far from any trees. The early navigators believed that the trees must be under the sea while others called them fruit that fell from heaven.

The largest sea coconuts ever found weigh 20 kilograms each.  The fruit takes seven years to ripen. Trees take a year to root and won’t produce fruit for more than 20 years.

Kampol Tansajja helps his gardeners plant a rare sea coconut tree in the protected nursery.