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Coconuts are thought of as fruits because they’re sweet, grow on trees, and their liquids can be consumed in the form of coconut water.

However, coconuts are also technically known in the scientific community as a nut and a seed. Coconuts can be classified as stone fruits, or drupes. Drupes includes foods such as peaches, olives, and nectarines. The United States Food and Drug Administration label coconuts as a tree nut, and companies when listing allergens have to specifically note the use of coconuts in the product. Meanwhile, the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) considers coconut to be “the seed of a drupaceous fruit.”

Regardless of semantics, a coconut has a life cycle just like any other plant.

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