The awesome coco-de-mer is a giant of the plant world; this palm has the longest leaves and the largest and heaviest seeds of any plant in the world (2). The tall slender trunk may tower up to 34 metres in height, bearing at its crown a mass of palm fronds (2). In mature individuals the leaf blades may be 4.5 metres wide and are fringed at the edges; withered leaves hang from the palm below the vibrant, healthy green crown (2). Unlike other Seychelles palms, the male and female flowers of the coco-de-mer are borne on separate trees (2); the male catkins can reach up to a metre in length, making them the longest in the world (3). Possibly the most renowned feature of this palm tree, however, are its enormous seeds; over the ages mariners have seen these seeds washed up on deserted beaches or riding the waves and they have become known as the 'coconuts of the sea' appearing to come from some mysterious oceanic plant (3). The seeds usually have two lobes and can weigh up to an enormous 30 kg (2).
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