coquilla nut kōkē´yə, kōkēl´yə [key] [Span.,=little coconut], fruit of a Brazilian palm (Attalea funifera), closely related to the coconut palm. Its fruit, 3 to 4 in. (7.6–10.2 cm) long, is very hard, of a richly streaked brown, and capable of taking a fine polish; it is used in cabinetwork and for umbrella handles. More important economically is the stiff, wiry, bright chocolate-colored leaf fiber, called piassava or piassaba, obtained from this and similar palms. It is used in making brooms and rope, and is an important export product in Amazonian South America. The nut is also a source of palm oil. Coquilla nuts are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Liliopsida, order Arecales, family Arecacae (Palmae).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Plants