The endemic coconut germplasm of Sri Lanka have been categorized into three main varieties Viz. typica, nana and aurantiaca by Liyanage (1958) based on their morphological characters and breeding behavior. The variety nana or the dwarf, also known as Kundira to the local farmer, included three colour forms viz. form red (Regia), form yellow (Eburnea) and form green (Pumilla). Except for these three colour forms no other intermediate forms had been reported. Under the germplasm collection and conservation programme of the Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka, a single palm of a brown coloured dwarf was initially identified in a home garden near Madampe in the Puttalam district (Peries, 1991). Later a few palms showing similar morphological characters and breeding behavior were located in Kirimetiyana, Marawila and Mawathagama within the coconut triangle, with most cases as a single tree in a home garden. The original palms were initially inspected for their breeding behavior by observing the male and female phases of the inflorescence, and other common morphological characters such as stature, stem girth, presence of absence of the bole, length and width of fronds and leaflets, nut components, inflorescence and the germination speed. The short stature (4 m), narrow stem, absence of a bole, narrow and short fronds and leaflets, the small nut size and weight and the presence of a large number of female flowers (average 80 per inflorescence and an average of 4 per spikelet) and the overlapping male and female phases of the inflorescence indicative of self pollinating behavior, which are the typical characteristics of dwarfs, confirmed the identified palm as another colour form of the variety nana. The results of the Fruit Component Analysis carried out for nuts of the original palms of the form dwarf brown are presented in Table 1.
How to Cite:
PERIES, R.R.A., 2010. THE BROWN DWARF: A RECENT ADDITION TO THE VARIETIES AND FORMS OF THE COCONUT PALM GROWN IN SRI LANKA. COCOS, 11, pp.79–81. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cocos.v11i0.2160