The inflorescence of the Cocoanut (Cocos nucifera, Linn.) is a branched spadix bearing innumerable flowers, only a few of which are female and fertile, the rest containing only stamens. When young the spadix is enclosed in a large spathe, which is partly seen above the flowers in the picture. As commonly seen in this country, the nut is divested of its dense fibrous outer coat, and consists of a hard bony shell (endocarp) containing one seed which is noteworthy for its size. The seed itself consists of a very small embryo near one of the three holes at one end of the nut, a layer of a solid substance (albumen) and a quantity of liquid (also albumen) in a central cavity, which in germination serve to nourish the young plant until it has formed roots and is able to draw its food from the soil. See the description of 229, and panel 87 of the wainscot below.
Look for more Marianne North prints.
156. Inflorescence and ripe Nuts of the Cocoanut Palm. appears in: