Atlantic or Jamaica Tall

This is the 'Local' tree which has a big curvy trunk with a round bowl at its base. This can be a very tall tree that grows vigorously in the sandy alkaline caye soil. It is drought resistant and can handle high winds due to its massive root structure.
The nuts are big and elongated and are either green or bronze in color. A big mature tree can produce up to 300 nuts/year. The nut has a lot of meat but the water is not too sweet. It takes a year for a nut to develop from being a flower bud to a sprouted seedling.
An Atlantic tall typically takes about 5-6 years to bear fruit and can live to be over 100 years old and be 85 ft tall.

Malaya Dwarf

This tree has a skinny straight trunk that can reach to 30-40 ft tall and it has no bowl at the base. Instead of having a round crown like the 'tall', it has a more wedge shaped V profile.
It has smaller and rounder nuts that come in either a yellow, red or green color. The nuts have little meat but the water is very sweet. The nuts do not all drop from the tree when mature and often sprout in the tree.
The Malaya is indigenous to a more fertile and moist mainland type soil and thus it does not thrive in the cayes' soil. It is more sensitive to drought, salt and wind(smaller root system) and is commonly afflicted with scale.
The name 'dwarf' came around because it bears fruit early - within 3 years - so it looks like a miniature coconut tree at that stage.


This is a naturally occurring hybrid cross between the Tall and the Malaya, which tends to take on more of the physical appearance of the Tall with the fruit characteristics of the Malaya.

The most common colors to the nuts are red or green and they retain the smaller and rounder dwarf shape.

Each tree is genetically unique due to random cross-pollination and thus the natural resistance to Lethal Yellowing cannot be quantified.

The MayJam is fast growing and nearly as salt and wind resistant as the Tall.

MayPan or MaPan

This is a controlled hybrid cross between the Pacific (Panama) Tall and the Yellow Malaya Dwarf. It was 'invented' by the Jamaicans as a commercial copra solution as it produced large quantities of nuts within 3 years and did not get too tall too fast so it was easier for harvesting.
The maypan has a trunk size in between the Tall and the Dwarf and has a small bowl. It will not grow as tall as the Atlantic tall.
It prefers a fertile soil and is somewhat sensitive to drought and salt exposure.
The coconuts are green and the stalks of the fronds are a lime green. Its crown has a similar V shape like the Malaya. Note: All coconut palms are monocots (grass family) and only have one growth center which is the apical meristem or the 'heart' of the top spear. Coconut trunks do not get wider with age - they just get taller. A dicot tree (hardwood and softwood) such as a Mahogany tree has two growth centers - it gets taller and the trunk gets wider at the same time.

This summary was written by Chris Berlin. For OTC treatments or for help with anything to do with coconut palms contact:
Chris Berlin
Fax: 011-501-226 3379

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