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native palm of the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean. The flowers are borne in enormous fleshy spadices (spikes), the male and female on distinct plants. Coco de mer fruits, among the largest known, take about 10 years to ripen; they have a fleshy and fibrous envelope surrounding a hard, nutlike portion that is generally two-lobed, suggesting a double coconut. The contents of the nut are edible but are not commercially valuable. Water vessels and platters are made from the shells. The empty fruits (after germination of the seed) are found floating in the Indian Ocean and were known long before the palm was discovered