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VARIATION IN SEEDLING CHARACTERS OF THREE DIFFERENT COCONUT CULTIVARS AND THEIR USE IN IDENTIFICATION IN THE NURSERY

Authors:

W. M.U. FERNANDO ,

LK
About W. M.U.
Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka.
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T.S.G. PIERIS,

About T.S.G.
Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka.
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M. R. T. WICKRAMARATNE

About M. R. T.
Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka.
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Abstract

There is no standard guide for the identification of seedlings of different cultivars at the
nursery. Diagnostic traits are necessary to detect illegitimates amongst hybrid coconut seedlings
and for sorting out the types, in the case of accidental mixing during transport. Requests fora guide
to the identification of planting material have been made by overseas buyers. Several metric traits
of 3eedlings of three different Coconut (Cocos nucifera L) cultivars were studied in order to
identify those of value in distinguishing between these types in the nursery. Seedlings of Dwarf,
Tall and the hybrid, Dwarf x Tall were used.
Although serveral traits studied were found to be useful discriminators, some were of greater
value, the most useful being the time taken for sprouting. Rate of leaf production, length and width
of leaves and time to first leaf splitting were important indicators when used in combination. The
best stage of differentiation amongst the cultivar seedlings was at 6 months from laying.
The hybrids resembled the Tails more closely than theDwarf so that chances of misclassify ing
the former two were greater than confusing them with the Dwarf types. A practical guide to aid
identification was devised along with the recommendation that any seedling sprouting before the
6th week could safely be discarded as an illegitimate among the hybrids under standard nursery
management practices.
How to Cite: FERNANDO, W.M.U., PIERIS, T.S.G. & WICKRAMARATNE, M.R.T., (2010). VARIATION IN SEEDLING CHARACTERS OF THREE DIFFERENT COCONUT CULTIVARS AND THEIR USE IN IDENTIFICATION IN THE NURSERY. COCOS. 9, pp.23–29. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cocos.v9i0.2126
Published on 27 Jul 2010.
Peer Reviewed

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