Hugh Harries - Tropical Tree Crops Agronomist
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Maypan: an F1 hybrid coconut variety for commercial production
Maypan was first produced in 1962, by controlled hand-pollination in the Malayan Dwarf seed source at Hermitage, Portland in Jamaica using pollen from selected Panama Tall growing at Caenwood, also in Portland. Further pollinations were made in 1963 and 1964 and the resulting seedlings established at field trials in Portland (Woodstock, Kildare, Rodney Hall, Caenwood and Fair Prospect) and in St. Thomas (Plantain Garden) from 1964 to 1966.
Details of the establishment, growth, yield and lethal yellowing disease resistance of this hybrid have been presented in annual research reports and other scientific publications. It was on the basis of these data, together with field evaluation made by farming members and research staff of the Coconut Industry Board, that the decision was taken to name the hybrid and approve its release to farmers.
Maypan is slightly less resistant to lethal yellowing disease than is the Malayan Dwarf but it is capable of producing an equal or greater number of nuts, and nut weight is considerably greater than for the dwarf. Maypan is later to come into bearing than the Malayan Dwarf and is a bigger palm having longer leaves and a larger bole to the trunk, but it is not as large as a tall variety. Due to losses of Jamaica Tall to lethal yellowing disease in trials where that variety was planted with Maypan, no comparative yield figures are available, but a subjective examination of the data from two trials show the hybrid to be superior to the Jamaica Tall on all counts.
The method of mass controlled pollination was established at Spring Garden, Portland in 1973 for the purpose of producing commercial quantities of F1 hybrid seed. Maypan seedlings first became available to Jamaican coconut farmers early in 1974.
Harries, H.C. & Romney, D.H. (1974) Maypan: an F1 hybrid coconut variety for commercial production. World Crops 26, 110-111.
What other people say about Maypan
Cocos nucifera 'Maypan' The Maypan coconut is recommended for its resistance to lethal yellowing. It is a hybrid which combines the resistance of the 'Malayan Dwarf' cultivars and the size and hardiness of the 'Panama Tall.' It has the classic coconut palm's tall trunk tapering to a wide base. 60' / high availability. Ten Great Palms for South Florida. Katherine Maidman, Curator of Palms, Fairchild Tropical Garden.
LETHAL YELLOWING ALERT. Many of our newly planted coconuts have died. There is no cure for for the disease. If you MUST plant a coconut tree INSIST FOR IT TO BE CERTIFIED Dwarf Malay or Maypan. PLANT OTHER PALMS that ARE NOT susceptible. Contact the Univ. of Fla. Co-Op. Extension Service Tropical Isle Garden Guide
USAID Project helps combat destructive Coconut Disease in Nicaragua: Chemonics, a USAID contractor, is working with the Foundation for the Autonomy and Development of the Atlantic Coast (FADCANIC) to import plants and seeds of the Malaysian Dwarf/Panama Tall hybrid (MAYPAN) coconut variety from Costa Rica. The MAYPAN variety was bred to be highly resistant to the disease and to produce higher yields than the vulnerable Atlantic Tall coconut tree. [Note that the hybrid from Costa Rica is called Mapan and is a cross between Malayan Dwarf and Costa Rican Pacific Tall. It is expected to perform just like Maypan].
KEY BISCAYNE HERITAGE TRAIL: In 1921, the Malay Dwarf Palm (golden, yellow and green) was introduced to U.S. soil on Key Biscayne, and proved the most disease resistant to lethal yellowing and "coconut blight" in the 1970s. Crossed with the Panama Tall to create the hybrid Maypan, it became the coconut palm of choice in the 1990s.