Tree (Cocos nucifera) of the palm family, one of the most important crops of the tropics. Its slender, leaning, ringed trunk rises from a swollen base and is topped by a graceful crown of giant, feathery leaves. The large ovoid or ellipsoid mature fruits have a thick, fibrous husk surrounding the familiar single-seeded nut. The nut contains a white and somewhat sweet meat, which is eaten raw; coconut oil is extracted from the meat. The nutritious liquid milk at the centre may be drunk directly from the nut. The husk provides coir, a fibre highly resistant to salt water that is used in the manufacture of ropes, mats, baskets, brushes, and brooms. The nutshells are used as containers and often decoratively carved.