At one time it was considered a native palm. The Coco takes about a year to mature. Around the five month stage you can drink the water (coconut juice) and eat the soft meat of the coconut, which is often sold fresh by street vendors. Towards Santa Marta from Barranquilla a couple of miles from the Alberto Pumarejo bridge there are dozens for vendors along the highway all selling coconuts. The coconut tree is common along the north coast of Colombia and is used to make coconut rice which a popular food on the coast. Coconut milk with lime makes an excellent juice.