News18»India
2-MIN READ

India's Only 125-year-old Double Coconut Tree Harvested After Several Years of Research

The 125-year-old female double-coconut tree at Botanic Garden in Howrah district in Bengal.

The 125-year-old female double-coconut tree at Botanic Garden in Howrah district in Bengal.

In 1894, the double-coconut tree — mainly found in two islands in Seychelles — was planted by the British at Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden in Howrah district in Bengal. Since then, it has become a main attraction for visitors because it is the only double coconut tree in India.

Sujit Nath

After several years’ continuous effort, botanists finally managed to harvest India’s only 125-year-old female double-coconut tree at Botanic Garden in Howrah district in Bengal.

Though, the tree bore only two fruits a couple of months ago but considering its complex and unpredictable growth process, the botanists were uncertain about its future. Presently, the fruits have been planted in two wooden pots and both are healthy and "showing positive results with nothing to worry about".

The fertilization was first started in 2006 but it was not successful and once again the botanists tried the process in 2013. Then, the fertilization was successful and the tree started bearing the fruits.

During the process, the botanists became worried over the health of the tree as it stopped growing (the way it was supposed to). The leaves also turned pale yellow. This was probably because the tree has suffered a fungal attack. The health of double-coconut trees started deteriorating but now it is growing healthy.

Speaking to News18, SS Hameed, curator of the Botanic Garden, said, "Since 2013, it has gone through the various growth processes and now we can safely say that yes we have succeeded in harvesting India's only double-coconut tree which is 125-years-old. The germination process is going well in two wooden pots."

He said, "Double coconut or Coco-de-mer, is known for the largest and heaviest seeds in the world. The weight of one fruit is 18 kg (the one which we harvested in Bengal), while the other one is nearly 8.5 kg. It was a challenging task before us because it is globally an endangered species."

"The cost of one seed is nearly Rs 2 lakhs in the international market due to its medicinal values. There is fluid inside the fruit, which is therapeutic in nature and high on demand in the pharmaceutical sector," Hameed said.

In 1894, the double-coconut tree — mainly found in two islands in Seychelles — was planted by the British at Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden in Howrah district in Bengal. Since then, it has become a main attraction for visitors because it is the only double coconut tree in India.

In 1988, for the first time the tree produced flowers and then the botanists thought to pollinate the flower artificially. Since, it was a female plant and the first attempt to pollinate it through a male plant in Sri Lanka failed in 2006. In 2013, the scientist tried it again through a male plant from Thailand and they succeeded.


Next Story
Loading...