You may enjoy coconuts when baking, in a fresh drink, or even as part of a stir fry or curry dish.
However, did you know that there are many different types of coconuts?
Most of the time, when you eat a coconut, you are likely not thinking about the type that you are having.
Most people simply assume that all coconuts are the same.
The truth is there are dozens of types of coconuts grown all over the world.
One thing that all of these coconuts have in common is that they thrive in warm weather.
Let’s look at some of the most common types of coconuts.
17 Types Of Coconuts
1. Dwarf Coconut Palms
As you can likely tell by the name, the dwarf coconut palms are very small.
A dwarf coconut palm can be one of several different types as this is an entire group of coconut palms.
The great thing about these dwarf coconut varieties is that it is much easier to get to the actual fruit of the plant.
These trees will also grow rather quickly and start producing fruit even when they are not fully grown.
Don’t be surprised if some of the dwarf coconut palms that you see are quite tall.
The overall size of the coconuts produced by the dwarf coconut palm is still going to be standard size.
2. Chowghat Orange Dwarf Coconut
The Chowghat Orange Dwarf Coconut produces some unique-looking coconuts.
With this model, you are going to get a coconut that is actually quite orange in color.
The plant is a fast producer and is quite popular because of the volume of coconuts that it can produce in its lifespan.
In addition, the coconut from the Chowghat Orange is very large and creates a large amount of food for people to eat.
These will grow in warmer areas of the world like India and can get to be about 16 feet tall.
You won’t want to walk under these trees when the coconuts start dropping off, as the large orange balls can be quite dangerous.
3. Malayan Yellow Dwarf Coconut Trees
Another type of dwarf coconut is the Malayan Yellow Dwarf.
These coconuts are going to be a bit more yellow in color, and that is what makes them stand out from the others around them.
The Malayan Yellow Dwarf is a bit different in the sense that, even though it is a dwarf, the tree can get very high.
A fully grown Malayan Yellow Dwarf will grow to be about 50 feet tall.
However, these are easy to grow and produce plenty of food during their lifespan, even if the overall size of the coconut is a bit smaller than some of the others out there.
4. Golden Malayan Dwarf Coconut
By now, you are probably catching on to the fact that some of these coconuts are named for the color of their exterior.
Most people assume a coconut is going to have that brown, fibrous exterior that you see with your tropical drink.
This is not what a coconut looks like when it grows on a tree.
The Golden Malayan Dwarf Coconut is a pretty yellow-orange color that looks a bit like gold.
The overall fruit is quite large, and the full tree size will be around 50 to 60 feet.
Again, this is pretty tall for a dwarf coconut tree.
These Golden Malayan Dwarf Coconuts tend to hold onto their moisture and flavor even though they are very drought-tolerant plants.
5. Green Dwarf Coconut
The green dwarf coconut will stand out from the crowd as it will never turn that darker color that we expect from a coconut plant.
The green dwarf coconut stays green even when it is fully ripe and ready to be harvested.
This is a very common variety and will grow well throughout Malaysia.
One of the benefits of putting in a green dwarf coconut tree is that the maximum height of this tree is quite a bit shorter than the maximum height of some other dwarf coconut varieties.
You will see the Green Dwarf Coconut make it to about 30 feet at its absolute maximum.
This is quite tall, but it is certainly more manageable to handle than a 60-foot tree like some of the other dwarf varieties.
One of the things to remember about these particular coconuts is that they produce a lot of coconut water.
You will have to work a bit harder to get the meat out of a coconut like this, and you may need extras if you are making a specific dish, but there is certainly plenty of water that you will be able to use.
It’s important to consider the meat and water yield of coconuts when deciding which plant to choose.
Since the amount of meat and water will vary by species, you will want to ensure that the fruit your tree produces will work for your needs.
6. Macapuno Coconut
The Macapuno Coconut is unique in that it is made to be very dry.
These coconuts were first created in the 1930s.
The genetic mutation that caused the Macapuno Coconut to develop also meant that it has almost no water inside it.
The fact that there is almost no water makes it also quite a bit sweeter than other coconuts on the market.
If you are making a dessert or a fruity drink, this type of coconut would be a perfect choice to consider.
Even though this started as a mutation, the style of Macapuno Coconut has been continued for many years.
People find that not having so much water but getting lots of the very sweet meat from the coconut is a significant benefit to have.
These coconuts are some of the best you can find, and if you are a fan of coconuts, this is undoubtedly a type that you should be trying.
Although these Macapuno coconuts originated in the Philippines, they are grown in several different tropical locations.
7. Fiji Dwarf
The rise of the Fiji Dwarf Coconut is quite a bit different than some other coconuts on the market.
The reason that the Fiji Dwarf became so popular came out of necessity.
The Fiji Dwarf coconuts turned out to be resistant to a yellowing disease that was destroying the coconut palms.
The disease came around, and there was no cure.
Many trees in Florida and the Caribbean were no longer able to survive without a cure, and at the time, there was no cure.
The need for coconut trees was apparent in these areas, and the Fiji Dwarf ended up being resistant to the disease.
Therefore, the Fiji dwarf became a very popular tree in these areas.
The Fiji Dwarf allowed the Florida and Caribbean areas to restore their coconut population with these mid-size trees that max out at around 25 feet.
Many Florida residents have these types of trees in their yards.
They are a great addition to the yard because you can usually pull the coconuts off without having to have a tree trimmer come to get them.
Many people consider the Fiji Dwarf to be among the best-looking coconut palms out there, and the fruit is just as good as any other variety you can find.
8. King Coconut
The King Coconuts are known for their high sugar content.
Since these fruits contain both water and coconut meat with a high sugar content, they are often seen along the roads in areas where food and hunger are an issue.
People have made these fruits a part of a complete diet to help them stay nourished and well-fed.
The King coconut is orange in color, and you will be able to see them quite easily when they are up in the trees.
If you are in a country where there is not much food and water, a coconut like this can actually help you survive.
It has a very refreshing taste, and they grow naturally on their own.
As long as the plant has full sun and a medium amount of moisture, it will grow quite easily.
9. VHC1 Coconut
As you can imagine, with the name of this coconut, it is not one of the original types that were found naturally.
The VHC1 is a hybrid variety of coconut.
Many scientists will take plants and crossbreed them with each other.
They will do this to try and create options that taste better or produce more meat or more water.
Sometimes they do this to try and make something more drought-resistant or tolerant to the heavy rain.
This particular coconut is a mix between the East Coast Tall and the Green Dwarf coconut.
The reason that the East Coast Tall and the Green Dwarf coconuts were crossbred was so that they could produce a large number of coconuts.
Anything more than 50 coconuts a year is a lot, but this VHC1 can produce more than 100 coconuts.
Certainly, this should be enough coconuts for all of your needs.
10. Tall Varieties Of Coconuts
We have mentioned that there is an entire line of dwarf coconuts, but there are also many tall coconut varieties.
In many areas of the world, it is more common to see the tall varieties of these plants.
With tall varieties of coconuts, you are going to need to climb to get the fruit or have a very tall ladder.
The tall varieties of coconut tend to live a bit longer as they are hardier and more durable.
If you have never been to a tropical area where these trees grow, it’s hard to imagine the height and the strength that the tall varieties of coconuts can have.
11. East Coast Tall Coconut Tree
As you can see from the start, the tall varieties of coconuts will be considerably taller than the dwarf varieties.
If you thought it was challenging to reach a coconut that is 30 feet off the ground, try going for something that is 90 feet in the air.
These are very tall trees that need full sun exposure and plenty of room underneath.
The East Coast Tall Coconut is going to start producing fruit after about seven years of growth.
In addition, you can get 60 or so coconuts a year from just one tree.
12. West Coast Tall Coconut
The West Coast Tall Coconut tends to do well in areas where a bit more height is needed to get the full sun they desire.
With a West Coast Tall coconut, you are going to see even more height than the East Coast Tall.
These coconut trees grow to more than 100 feet in the air.
One of the things that you will notice about the West Coast Tall coconut is that it has a high oil content.
The difference could be the height of the tree or simply the characteristics of this variety, but the consistency will change the way the coconut tastes a bit.
The overall water content is about the same as an average coconut, but just the meat tends to be higher in oil content.
Some products made with coconut oil will do well with this type of coconut.
13. Jamaican Tall
As you may have guessed, the Jamaican Tall coconut originated in Jamaica.
These are similar to the West Coast Tall in that they are going to grow to just over 100 feet.
One of the things that makes the Jamaican Tall coconut palm stand out is the number of coconuts that it can produce in a year.
An older and more mature coconut palm could put out up to 200 coconuts per year.
This is more than one family can manage, and that is why these make an excellent option for businesses or for neighborhoods where neighbors work together to keep everyone fed.
Since these trees can live for up to 80 years producing at this level, this is something that will likely get passed down between generations.
If you are looking to enjoy coconuts for years to come, think about putting a Jamaican Tall in place.
The large batches of green coconuts will provide some really fresh tasting fruit for you to eat.
14. Panama Tall
The Panama Tall is a bit smaller than some of the other tall trees as it usually only grows to be about 90 feet tall.
The fruit that comes from the Panama Tall is going to be durable, strong, and quite sweet in flavor.
There is a unique feature of the Panama Tall that sets it apart from some of the rest.
You will notice that the Panama Tall can survive in areas where the temperature is between 60 and 70 degrees at times.
For many coconut varieties, this is not the case.
This is considered to be a tropical plant, and something that is tropical typically won’t survive if the temperature drops below that 70 or even 75-degree mark.
The Panama Tall is known to be able to handle some very difficult storms as well.
These trees can bend and twist in heavy winds, and it will not rip them out of the ground.
The canopy on the Panama Tall looks a bit like an umbrella which all the coconuts are going to grow beneath.
You won’t be able to expect hundreds of coconuts from this tree every year, but there are certainly enough to keep you well fed.
15. Maypan Coconut
We have seen a few hybrid varieties of coconuts on our list already, and the Maypan is another one.
This is a variety of coconut that originated in Jamaica, and the thing that makes it stand out among the crowd is the disease resistance.
Typically, when scientists cross two varieties of coconuts, they will end up with a hybrid variety that is stronger or better than a current variety.
That is really the entire point of the process.
The Maypan Coconut was bred to help combat the yellowing disease that had become somewhat common in the Caribbean.
We have seen this before with the Fiji Dwarf that we explained as well.
Both of these types of coconut trees tend to be somewhat resistant to the disease, which is an excellent thing.
The Maypan is a hybrid of a Malayan Dwarf and a Panama Tall.
The fact that the dwarf is sturdy and durable and the Panama Tall deals well with the rough weather, the two make a really good combination.
Also, because this is a mix of a tall and a dwarf, you are only going to see these trees grow to around 60 feet tall.
16. Tiptur Tall
The Tiptur Tall originates in India, and it is known for its ease of maintenance.
Overall, coconut trees are going to do quite well on their own with very little attention paid to them.
The biggest thing that you need to watch out for is disease.
That is why so many crossbreeds are put into place that can help to ensure the creation of stronger and more stable crossbreeds.
With the Tiptur Tall, you can get around 70 to 80 coconuts per year, and it seems to produce this same amount of fruit year after year.
The Tiptur Tall is very easy to grow and will not require much attention or fertilization.
These are very successful crop producers once you have them set up and producing.
The fruit is like a traditional coconut with a medium amount of water and meat inside.
Having the tree produce about 70 or 80 per year is undoubtedly an excellent sized crop, especially when the trees did not require much attention from you.
Like most coconut palms, the full sun and medium moisture tend to be the best combination for really great production and health of the plant.
17. Chandrakalpa Coconut
Last but certainly not least is the Chandrakalpa Coconut.
This is a coconut that you will likely see more and more of over time.
The reason for this is that this is a fast-producing and high-volume coconut tree.
If you are getting involved in some type of business that requires you to grow coconuts, you will be pleasantly surprised by the output of this particular species.
The average Chandrakalpa Coconut tree is going to produce more than 100 coconuts each year.
If you don’t have the right tools, your hands are going to be exhausted from getting to the milk and water of these coconuts.
Another great thing about the Chandrakalpa is that it is very easy to grow.
The tree tends to be tolerant of a variety of soils, and the soil type really doesn’t have an impact on the number of coconuts it is able to produce.
Of course, you are going to want to ensure that this tree has full sun if you want to see the best size and best tasting coconuts.
For areas of the world where the temperature fluctuates quite a bit, the Chandrakalpa is becoming the go-to type of coconut tree to plant.
Since we don’t have any control over the weather, sometimes it makes sense to choose a coconut type that will handle whatever conditions are going to come its way.
As you can see, there are many types of coconuts on the market, and each year, we are discovering new varieties that scientists are putting out on the market.
It’s hard to say which of these coconuts is best as most of us don’t have access to try every one and compare.
Most experts will tell you that the differences between the tastes are very slight.
Where To Find Different Coconut Varieties
It may seem incredible to have all these different types of coconut varieties, but the reality of it is, they are hard to get your hands on.
Since coconuts tend to grow in tropical regions, this is where you will need to go to try a different type of coconut.
Most grocery stores are just going to give you one type of coconut to choose from.
They will source the coconuts from the area of the world that is easiest to work with and can bring in the most coconuts.
However, after opening your eyes to the different varieties of coconut that are on the market, maybe you will start reading some of the labels on the products you purchase.
Chances are you are going to be able to see some of the areas of the world where these coconuts are grown and the ways that you can try different flavors and varieties.
Overall, most coconuts are going to have a very similar taste.
They are all part of the same plant family and grow in very similar conditions.
The biggest difference you are going to see from one type to another is the condition of the coconut when you crack open the shell.
Sometimes the coconut is going to have a ton of water, and other times, it will have none.
You may find that you only need one to make a recipe for one type of coconut, while for another, you may need to crack open three or four.
The levels of meat and water in each coconut will vary quite a bit, and it is essential to pay attention to this.
Overall, you will likely enjoy a coconut that comes from any of the types of trees on our list, but an experienced coconut lover will notice a difference between the varieties.