Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pawnee vs. Lakota

    I have been a fan of the Lakota pecan cultivar for a long time now and have often described it as a scab free version of the Pawnee cultivar.  These two pecan cultivars share a lot of traits. Both Pawnee and Lakota are precocious, productive, and fall into alternate bearing if not carefully managed. The nuts of both cultivars are large, thin shelled, and have good oil content.
    There are some major differences between Lakota and Pawnee. Lakota is resistant to pecan scab and ice storm breakage, while Pawnee is susceptible to both.  Pawnee ripens more than 2 weeks earlier than Lakota.
   Looking at Pawnee and Lakota nuts side by side you can see obvious differences in nut shape (photo above). Pawnee nuts are a little bit flattened while Lakota nuts are nearly round in cross section. Both nuts have a distinctive yet different apex shape while Lakota tends to have a tapered base.

    I cracked out some nuts to show how each cultivar and their nut shape influences kernels appearance and quality (photo above).  Note that kernel shape mimics the shape of the shell. Pawnee kernels are broad and blocky,  while Lakota are more narrow and tapered.  When it comes to kernel appearance, note that Pawnee has some problems. Pawnee kernels always seem to be covered fine black speckles that can give the kernel a grayish cast.  And in some years (like this year), the kernels can even have large brown blotches. In contrast, Lakota always seems to produce smooth, golden kernels. I guess that's one more reason to like Lakota.