Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A fan-leaved palm (Lodoicea maldivica) native to the Seychelles, bearing the largest seed of all plants, which is enclosed in a hard shell resembling a pair of coconuts joined in the middle.
  • n. The hard-shelled seed of this plant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A tall palm tree, Lodicea maldivica, found in the Seychelles.
  • n. The woody nut of such a tree.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as double cocoanut (which see, under cocoanut).

Etymologies

French : coco, coconut + de, of + mer, sea.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French coco de mer, literally ‘nut of the sea’, because it was originally known only from its nuts found floating in the water. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Prior to the discovery of Praslin, the alluring shell was periodically found floating in the ocean like a wet dream, leading sailors to speculate that it grew underwater hence the name coco-de-mer, or coconut of the sea.

    The Fruit Hunters

  • This fruit, worshipped by a cult, grows only in the Seychelles, where it is called the coco-de-mer.

    The Fruit Hunters

  • Tourism is affecting the stand structure of the coco-de-mer.

    Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, Seychelles

  • Savage and Ashton have studied the population structure of the coco-de-mer palm (1983) and the impact of tourism (1991).

    Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, Seychelles

  • There are considerable difficulties in effectively patrolling the area, and poaching of coco-de-mer nuts is a serious problem that might affect its future regeneration.

    Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, Seychelles

  • Collection of coco-de-mer nuts is controlled by law; their commercialization is a government monopoly.

    Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, Seychelles

  • All six endemic palm species to the Seychelles occur in the valley, and all belong to a monospecific genera; Deckenianobilis (V), Phoenicophorium borsigiana (V), coco-de-mer, Verschaffeltia splendida (V), Roscheria melanochaetes and Nephrosperma van-houtteana.

    Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, Seychelles

  • It is completely surrounded by the national park, a multiple use management area mainly devoted to the conservation of endemic forest, notably the coco-de-mer forest.

    Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, Seychelles

  • The main vegetation type within the valley comprises an intermediate palm forest characterized by the endemic palm coco-de-mer Lodoicea maldivica (V) (bearer of the largest seed in the plant kingdom).

    Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, Seychelles

  • Valleé de Mai is one of the few remaining areas where coco-de-mer forest occurs and is the only place where all six endemic palm species to the Seychelles are found together.

    Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, Seychelles

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