Coconut has several uses and its oil is a household name in the country! Here are some of the best Coconut Varieties in India you might not be aware of!
What is Coconut?
Coconut is a large palm plant variety that can grow up to the height of 80-100 feet with a leaning yet slender trunk. The tree is said to have originated in the southeastern parts of Asia. It is also famous as ‘Kalpavriksha,’ which literally translates to the tree of heaven. As almost all the parts of the tree have some or the other uses, the fruit itself has a plethora of uses in industries that range from food to cosmetics! Let’s have a look at some of the best Coconut Varieties in India!
Coconut Tree Cultivation in India
Coconut is one of the most important crops in the country. The livelihood of a lot of people depends on this tree as it provides us with fuel, food, and drink too! India is the third-largest producer of coconut in the world. The states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala in south India together account for 90% of the total coconut production in the country!
Coconut Varieties in India
There are many varieties of coconuts famous throughout southern India. These varieties can be divided into two, namely, Tall and Dwarf. The following section will discuss the important varieties of coconut in detail.
1. West Coast Tall
A common variety that can take up to 6-7 years to start producing fruits. It can grow in a wide range of soils and have 65-70% oil content. The trees also produce good quality juice which can be useful in making Jaggery. The variety is often suggested for high scale cultivation in coastal areas of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Orrisa, Tripura, and Lakshadweep.
2. East Coast Tall
Another tall variety of coconut with 65-68 % of oil content. It is suitable for growing in the coastal region of West Bengal, Pondicherry, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. This type of coconut performs well in well-draining, alluvial or red loam soil, and starts bearing fruit at the age of 6-8 years.
Also known as Lakshadweep ordinary or LCT, it can grow on a variety of soil types and can survive under moist conditions as well. The variety is an amazing choice for cultivation on higher scales in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh. The coconut has 68-72 % of oil content and starts to fruit in 5-6th year of plantation.
4. Andaman Ordinary/ VPM-3
The trees of this variety start producing fruits in 5-6 years of plantation. The variety is drought-tolerant and has 70% content of oil and high copra content as well. The commercial cultivation of this variety takes place in Tamil Nadu, Andaman, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh.
5. Tiptur Tall
Another famous variety of the coconut which is widely cultivated in the southern state of Karnataka. It contains around 68% of oil content and the fruiting usually occurs after 6-7 years. The variety produces 70-80 coconuts per tree on average, with 6-12 inches long.
6. Kera Sagara
A popular cultivar in the south Indian state of Kerala. The variety takes almost 6-8 years before it can start producing fruits. It is also a tall coconut variety that has 68-70% oil content. An average yield of this coconut variety is 90-100 fruits per tree every year.
This variety of coconut can also grow in a wide range range of soils and produces an average of 100-110 fruits per tree every year. It is suitable for commercial cultivation in all states. It takes around 5 years to produce fruits. The oil content in this type of coconut is 66-68%.
8. Chowghat Green Dwarf
It is one of the famous dwarf varieties of coconut in India, suitable for cultivation in southern states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka. It takes only 3-4 years to produce fruits, with an oil content of around 66-68 %. The characteristic feature of this variety is a ‘beak,’ which is visible when the fruits are mature.
9. Chowghat Orange Dwarf
The variety is called ‘Chenthangu’ in Kerala and ‘Kenthali’ in Karnataka. The trees are widely cultivated in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It can produce fruits in 3-4 years of plantation and have a good amount of oil content in them. The variety produces, on an average, 60-65 fruits per tree every year.
Hybrid Varieties of Coconut
Hybrid varieties are crosses between coconut varieties. These are better than the original as they show early fruiting, have higher quantities of oil content, and an increased number of fruits per tree.
10. Kera Sankara
This hybrid variety is a cross between Lakshadweep Ordinary Tall and Chowghat Orange Dwarf. It contains 68-72 % of oil content and was released by CPCRI, Kerala in 1991. The tree produces higher yields than both its parent varieties. It is suitable for cultivation in states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala. In addition to that, you can cultivate it easily in both irrigated and rainfed conditions.
11. Chandra Shankara
A cross between West Coast Tall and Chowghat Orange Dwarf. This variety has a yield of 100-115 coconuts per tree every year. It is suitable for cultivation in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka. This variety has 68% oil content and does well in places with good management and ideal conditions. This hybrid was also first introduced by CPCRI, Kerala in 1991.
12. Chandra Laksha
A hybrid cross between Lakshadweep Ordinary and Chowghat Orange Dwarf, this variety was released by CPCRI, Kerala in 1985. This tree fruits in the 4-5 years of plantation and suitable for high scale cultivation in Kerala and Karnataka. The special feature of this quality is that it performs well in moist conditions. The oil content in the variety is 69-72 %.
This variety is a cross between Lakshadweep Ordinary and Gangabondam Green Dwarf. This variety produces fruits in 4-5 years after plantation. It was first released by Kerala Agricultural University in 1988. The tree can also be cultivated easily in both irrigated and rain-fed conditions. With an oil content of 69%, it produces around 100 fruits per tree every year.
The other hybrid varieties of coconut are – Keraganga, Anandaganga, Kerasree, VCH 1, VCH 2, VCH3, and Kerasoubhagya.