The coconut tree has a scientific name, "Cocos nucifera". It is a tall tree with a long trunk and a crown of leaves. These long fan-shaped leaves surround the growing point of the tree.

There are many varieties. Dwarf varieties grow to about 4 metres and flower about 3 years after planting. The tall varieties grow to 21 to 25 metres and flower in about 8 years. Some coconuts are a cross between short and tall.

The tree bares nuts all year round. They may be different sizes, shapes, colours and different weights. The nuts are either harvested when they are young or left to ripen and fall. It takes around a year from when the tree flowers to when the nut is fully mature.Coconuts are mature when the water inside can be heard when shaken.