Monday

A new Inventory of coconut varieties and forms in the Cook Islands


By R. Bourdeix, V. Mataora and M. Purea

This new 2018 inventory is based of several documents:
  • The 2000 report of the project: . This document contains a list of varieties names recorded in Aitutaki during a participatory appraisal survey, and a list of varieties that were sampled for coconut embryos/ These embryos were sent to SPC Fiji lab for in vitro culture and supposed to be grown in the International Coconut Collection for the Pacific Region, located in Madang, Papua New Guinea. Unfortunately, all the embryos died during the field transfer process, but data is still remaining.
  • The document published by M. Purea in 2017
  • The previous documents from Tiara Mataora, an agricultural officer who worked with the expert in 2000 and passed the way
  • The personal observations made by the expert and Victor Mataora, agricultural officer and nephew of Tiara.

Inventory of the coconut varieties and forms
available in the Cook Islands as of April 2018
R. Bourdeix and V. Mataora



Local names of varieties
International or scientific names
Comments
1
Niu Uri (Green),
Niu Kura (Brown)
Cook Island Tall (COKT)
Cook Island Tall Papaaroa (COKT03)
Cook Island Tall Vivi (COKT04)
Cook Island Tall Golf (COKT05)
From R. Bourdeix et al., 2000. Local Tall as named in Aitutaki Island. International names and abbreviation were given to populations when sampling embryos for the international collection of Papua new Guinea. Populations 3 from Rarotonga, 4 and 5 from Aitutaki. Pop. 4 at centre of the island, volcanic soil. Pop. 5 on a coral soil sometimes flooded.
2
Nu Lakita,
Nu Rakitakita.
Cook Island Tall Lakita ?
From M. Purea, 2017. Tall-type coconut with very large fruits, often known to come from Atiu Island. Some are grown in Rarotonga, one at Nikao at Kena’s home. Note from R.B: this type is often named “Niu vai” by Polynesians from other countries.
3
Nu Matukute
Pink husk forms. Cook Island Tall pink husk?.
From R. Bourdeix et al., 2000. Local Tall as named in Aitutaki Island. Called Red eye Coconut (by men) and Red lips Coconut (by women). Used for medicinal purposes. It is the unique case in which men and women from the same village does not use the same name for the same variety. Quite rare and needs to be preserved.
4
Nu Pia
Makapuno forms. Cook Island Tall Makapuno?
From M. Purea, 2017 and Tiara Mataora. Tall and Dwarf forms. Waxy or streachy appearance of the kernel that almost fill the cavity area normally occupied by the water. Beautiful taste; Similar to a very fine and smoothy scrapped younf coconut coconut flesh. Note from RB: Tuamotu islanders us the same name “pia”. Makapuno type. A special form with thick soft kernel, very appreciated in the Philippines –people are not using it a lot in Cook. Dwarf forms are very rare and need to be preserved.
5
6
7
Nu Papua, Niu Kini
Papua red and yellow Dwarfs, Tahitian Red Dwarf (TRD)
From M. Purea, 2017. Semi-Dwarfs. They are several types, with young fruit colors yellow, red or orange, or green. Medium to small fruit size. Note from RB: They are real well known Dwarf palms from Papua, if the growth is more than Dwarf, this is another variety or a varietal mix. In Aitutaki, people are considering that the Malayan Red Dwarf and the Papua Red Dwarf are the same variety, but they are different. At least 3 varieties of Papua should be found in Cook.
8
Nu Mangaro
Sweet husk forms.
Cook Island Tall Sweet Husk  (COKT02)
From M. Purea, 2017. Tall and Dwarf types. There are few around and I got one type in my Nikao Back-yard garden – Sweet and jucy husk. Note from RB: sweet husk coconut, precious disappearing variety, the Dwarf forms are the rarest, they should be identified and duplicated. A Tall-type from Aitutaki is planted in Atiu village.
9
Nu Kalepa
Spicata forms
From M. Purea, 2017. Tall and sometimes, Dwarf varieties in which the fruits are directly connected to the peduncle of the bunch (roro). Note from RB: spicata is not a local name but a scientific name. See the existing poster about these varieties. The spicata dwarf are rare and needs to be preserved.
10
Nu puru kaa
Nu Kapu Ukulele
Cook Island Tall Ukulele ?
From M. Purea, 2017, only picture description/
11
Niu Papua
Niu Kini
Malayan Red Dwarf
From R. Bourdeix et al., 2000. Imported by the priests and often planted near churches, for instance in Atiu island. Cook islanders do not appreciate it for drinking, but in many other countries, they are appreciated. In Aitutaki, people are considering that the Malayan Red Dwarf and the Papua Red Dwarf are the same variety, but they are different.
12
Unknown
Malayan Yellow Dwarf
From R. Bourdeix et al., 2000. Only a few palms in Rarotonga.
13
Niu Penenere
Compact Green Dwarfs - Cook Island Dwarf Totokoitu  (COKD01)
From R. Bourdeix et al., 2000. At list two varieties, one with pointed, sometimes heart shaped, medium to big fruits; another one with oblong bigger fruits. At least one is used for medicinal purposes. They are presently invading the Cook gardens. Said to be introduced to Cook around 1970-1980.
14
Niu Potopoto
Compact Brown Dwarfs
Cook Island Dwarf Vaikoa (COKD02)
Note from RB: at list two varieties, one with oblong, dark brown colored fruits, anotrer with roundish and clearer brow green coloured fruits. They are presently invading the Cook gardens. Said to be introduced to Cook around 1970-1980. Embryos were collected in the garden of the hotel Vaikoa units, Aitutaki (Phone 682 31 145, fax 682 31145).
15
Niu Potopoto
Compact Red Dwarfs
Note from RB: rare and precious variety that could be used to plant new kind of seedgardens. When planted with another green variety, the seedgarden produces Red dwarfs, the Green variety and brown hybrids, easily indentififiable at nursery stage. Much rarer than Brown and Green compact Dwarfs. The story of these Dwarfs remains uncertain. Probably more than one variety.
16
Unknown
Compact yellow Dwarfs
Note from RB: the rarest variety, but not as important as the red form, because less suitable for seedgardens. If you plant this Yellow dwarf with a green variety, you will not be able to make differences between the green variety and hybrids for seednuts harvested on Green varieties. The story of these Dwarfs remains uncertain. Probably more than one variety.
17
Seven in one
Cook Island Tall Seven-in-one (COKT01)
From R. Bourdeix et al., 2000. Extinct. Previously located where the building of the Ministry of Justice is now.