Common Varieties


Distribution and cultivars:
Pineapple is widely grown in Asia (Thailand,Philippines,Malaysia,China, andIndia), South Central America (Brazil,Costa Rica).Brazilis the world’s largest producer of pineapple, followed byThailand, Phillipines, andCosta Rica. Although some claim that pineapples were brought toSouth Africaby Jan van Riebeeck in 1665, it is more widely accepted that they were introduced toNatalfromCeylon- present daySri Lanka- in the early 19th century. A native to the tropics, the crop requires areas where the climate is warm, humid and free from extreme temperatures (25 °C being the optimal temperature). The fruit is grown all year round, although the sweetness of the fruit varies depending on various conditions. InSouth Africa, pineapples are grown mainly in theEastern Capeand northernKwaZulu-Nataland, to a lesser extent,Limpopo.


While South Africa has a flourishing pineapple-growing sector, almost a third of the world’s pineapples are produced in Hawaii and South-East Asia. Commercial cultivars of pineapple are generally placed in five groups i.e. Cayenne, Queen, Spanish, Pernambuco and Mordilona. In international trade, the numerous pineapple cultivars are grouped into four main classes: ‘Smooth Cayenne’, ‘Red Spanish’, ‘Queen’, and ‘Abacaxi’, despite much variation in the types within each class.


Pineapple Varieties
‘Smooth Cayenne’ or ‘Cayenne’, ‘Cayena Lisa’ in Spanish (often known in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Thailand as ‘Sarawak’ or ‘Kew’) was selected and cultivated by Indians in Venezuela long ago and introduced from Cayenne (French Guyana) in 1820. It is the most important cultivar from this group. More than 70% of the pineapple grown both for canning and fresh fruit in the world is from this cultivar . The production cycle for ‘Smooth Cayenne’ is longer than most of the other cultivars. Because of the plants near freedom from spines except for the needle at the leaf tip and the size-1.8 4.5 kg-cylindrical form, shallow eyes, orange rind, yellow flesh, low fiber, juiciness and rich mildly acid flavor, it has become of greatest importance worldwide even though it is subject to disease and does not ship well. Mainly, it is prized for canning, having sufficient fiber for firm slices and cubes as well as excellent flavor.


Smooth Cayene


There are several clones of ‘Smooth Cayenne’ inHawaiiwhich have been selected for resistance to mealy bug wilt. It is the leading cultivar inTaiwan. In 1975, the Queensland Department of Primary Industries, after 20 years of breeding and testing, released a dual purpose cultivar named the ‘Queensland Cayenne’.South Africa’s Pineapple Research Station,East London, after 20 years of selecting and testing of ‘Smooth Cayenne’ clones, has chosen 4 as superior especially for the canning industry.


In Malaysia, the local clones of this group are ‘Sarawak’ (in Peninsular Malaysia), ‘Samarahan’, ‘Nanas Durian’ and ‘Nanas Paun’ (in Sarawak) and ‘Babagon’ (in Sabah ).


‘Sarawak’ is vigorous growing and bears large (about 2.5 kg), egg-shaped fruit held on a short and strong peduncle. The fruitlets or ‘eyes’ are broad and flat. The flesh is pale yellow, very juicy with fairly high acid (0.5-0.9%) and sugar (12-16 ° Brix). Leaves are generally smooth with occasional spines at the tips.


Cultivars in this group are usually resistant to fruit collapse and bacterial heart rot diseases but susceptible to black heart disorder due to low temperature. Vegetative propagation is normally by shoots and slips, which are quite limited in production.


InMalaysia, the ‘Sarawak’ clone does not respond readily to flower-induction, especially when grown on peat soil that encourages robust vegetative growth. Hence, the cultivation of theCayennetype of pineapple in this country is limited to mineral soil areas such as Titi (Negeri Sembilan), Setiu (Terengganu) (Penampang / Babagon) Sabah and some parts of Sarawak.


 Sarawak  Sarawak


‘Hilo’is a variant of ‘Smooth Cayenne’ selected in Hawaii in 1960. The plant is more compact, the fruit is smaller, more cylindrical; produces no slips but numerous suckers It may be the same as the ‘Cayenne Lisse’ strain grown in Martinique and on the Ivory Coast, the fruit of which weighs from 1-1 1/2 kg and has a very small crown.


 Cayenne Hilo


‘St. Michael’, another strain of ‘Smooth Cayenne’ is the famous product of theAzores. The fruit weighs 2.25-2.75 kg, has a very small crown, a small core, is sweet with low acidity, and some regard it as insipid when fully ripe.

‘Bumanguesa’, ofVenezuela andColombia, is probably a mutation of ‘Perolera’. The fruit is red or purple externally, cylindrical with square ends, shallow eyes, deep-yellow flesh,very slender core but has slips around the crown and too many basal slips to suit modern commercial requirements.


‘Kona Sugarloaf’: 2.5–3 kg, white flesh with no woodiness in the center. Cylindrical in shape, it has high sugar content but no acid. It is unusually sweet fruit.


‘Giant Kew’, well-known in India, bears a large fruit averaging 2.75 kg often up to 4.5 kg and occasionally up to 10 kg. The core is large and its extraction results in too large a hole in canned slices.

‘Charlotte Rothschild’, second to ‘Giant Kew’ in size in India, tapers toward the crown, is orange-yellow when ripe, aromatic, very juicy. The crop comes in early. ‘Baron Rothschild’, aCayenne strain, grown inGuinea, has a smaller fruit 0.8-2 kg in weight, marketed fresh.


‘Santa Marta’ ofColombia, is subject to cracking of the core in hot, dry weather. The old common ‘Criolla’ is still grown inPeru because it can be sold fresh and is not easily damaged in shipment. But modern pineapple production in that country depends on the ‘Smooth Cayenne’ for canning.


 Bumanguesa Kona Sugarloaf Kew Santa Marta


‘Perolera’ (also called ‘Tachirense’, ‘Capachera’, ‘Motilona’, and ‘Lebrija’) is a ‘Smooth Cayenne’ type ranking second to ‘Red Spanish’ in importance inVenezuela. It has long been grown inColombia. The plant is entirely smooth with no spine at the leaf tip. The fruit is yellow, large-3-4 kg and cylindrical.


‘Monte Lirio’, ofMexicoandCentral America, also has smooth leaves with no terminal spine. The fruit is rounded, white-fleshed, with good aroma and flavor.Costa Ricaexports fresh toEurope.


Other variants of ‘Smooth Cayenne’ include the ‘Esmeralda’ grown in Mexico and formerly in Florida for fresh, local markets; ‘Typhone’, of Taiwan; ‘Cayenne Guadeloupe’, of Guadeloupe, which is more disease resistant than ‘Smooth Cayenne’; and ‘Smooth Guatemalan’ end ‘Palin’ grown in Guatemala; also ‘Piamba da Marquita’ of Colombia. Some who have made efforts to classify pineapple strains have proposed grouping all smooth-leaved types under the collective name ‘Maipure’. InAmazonas,Venezuela, this name is given to a large plant with smooth leaves stained with red. The fruit has 170 to 190 eyes.


The ‘Spanish’ group of pineapple is not widely cultivated in the world. However, it is well adapted to the coastal peat and has been, for over a century, the main canning cultivar inMalaysia. The plants are moderate in vigour and bear typically square-shouldered (cylindrical) fruits of 1-2 kg. The eyes are broad, fairly flat and deep and this results in lower flesh recovery. The flesh is quite fibrous, with attractive deep, golden-yellow color. Sugars (10-12° Brix ) and acids (0.3-0.5%) are usually low. The leaf margins are usually smooth with the exception of the leaf-tip where a few spines may be found. Slips are sometimes prolific and it also produces suckers readily for ratooning or replanting. Spanish cultivars are susceptible to fruit collapse and bacterial heart rot diseases.


The plant is vigorous and produces two to three suckers. Leaves are lightly purple-tinged, usually with spineless margins except for the leaf-tip. Crowns are medium, occasionally with multiple proliferations. Fruits weigh between 1.1 to 1.3 kg, are cylindrical-shaped with dark purple peel ripening to attractive orange-red. The flesh color is deep-golden yellow with strong aroma and sugar contented.


The selection done on ‘Singapore Spanish’ pineapples inMalaysiahave produced improved cultivars for canning such as ‘Masmerah’ and ‘Gandul’. Others in this group not popularly cultivated include ‘Selangor Green’, ‘Nangka’ and ‘Betik’. Two other cultivars which are suitable for fresh fruit market are ˜Hybrid 36′ and ‘Josapine’.


These plants are moderate in vigour and bear typically square-shouldered (cylindrical) fruits of 1-2 kg. The eyes are broad, fairly flat and deep and this results in lower flesh recovery. The flesh is quite fibrous, with attractive deep, golden-yellow color. Sugars (10-12° Brix ) and acids (0.3-0.5%) are usually low but very much higher in ˜Hybrid 36′ and ‘Josapine’ which were selected for the fresh fruit market


˜Hybrid 36′ is a hybrid selected from a cross between ‘Gandul’ (Spanish) and the ˜SmoothCayenne’ by the PeninsulaEstate,Malaysia. It is a very robust cultivar and produces medium sized fruits (1.5 – 2 kg) with large crowns. It has high sugar content (14° Brix) and acid (0.6-0.8%) but its flesh color is rather pale. The fruit is quite tolerant to black heart disorder but susceptible to marbling diseases.


˜Josapine’ is a new cultivar in the Spanish group with very bright prospects as a table-fruit. It is a selection from hybridisation between ‘Johor’ (Spanish) and ‘Sarawak’ (Smooth Cayenne) and released by the Malaysian Agriculture Research and Development Institute (MARDI) in 1996. It fruits very early and is cultivated on an annual cycle inMalaysia. The plant is vigorous and produces two to three suckers. Leaves are lightly purple-tinged, usually with spineless margins except for the leaf-tip. Crowns are medium, occasionally with multiple proliferations. Fruits weigh between 1.1 to 1.3 kg, are cylindrical-shaped with dark purple peel ripening to attractive orange-red. The flesh color is deep-golden yellow with strong aroma and sugar content between 17° Brix on peat soil to 22° Brix on mineral soil. ‘Josapine’ fruits have good storage-life and are resistant to black heart disorder or internal browning caused by low temperatures. This is an advantage that allows ‘Josapine’ fruits to be shipped for export under refrigerated containers.


 Hybrid 36 Josapine


Replanting of “Gandul” pineapple on peat soil has been carried for the past 20 years resulting in a sudden decrease in yield. Consequently, this situation adversely affected the Malaysian pineapple industry and has been the main factor of the rapid decline in the canning sector. In an attempt of overcoming the declining in the supply of canning pineapples and to revive the pineapple industry, a new variety which is vigorous, productiveand high yielding of quality fruits has to be created. Based on this need “Maspine “ variety with medium size crown was produced after ten years of research (1993-2004) was released for planting by the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry of Malaysia on 5th May 2005 at MARDI Station, Pontian, Johore. Before its release, “Maspine” is originally known as Line 73-50, a complex hybrid from five types of pineapple which seldom has stem, aerial and ground shoots. “Maspine” belongs to “Manzanah” group that inherits the vigor of “Queen”, high sugar content from “Cayenne”, golden yellow aril and fruit shape of “Singapore Spanish”, resistant to disease from “Pernambuco” and non-spiny leaves from “Perolera”. Its reponse to flowering is ≥ 80% and produces “red-heart” inflorescence 37 days after hormone treatment.


With these positive characteristics, it can adapt widely to various environment inMalaysia. It is reported resistant to Bacterial Heart Rot (BHR) and has high potential for planting on mineral soils which is already infected by BHR.


“Maspine” pineapple yields 40% and 70% more than “Gandul” and “Josepine” varieties, respectively. It can produce 56 tonnes fruits/ha. Besides, it has excellent canning quality particularly the moderately large fruit size (1.8 kg/fruit), cylindrical fruit shape, thin skin and high recovery rate of ≥ 20% compared to “Gandul” variety (6-18%). The core diameter of the fruit is ≤ 30 mm and makes it more acceptable to the canners.


The attractive golden yellow color of the flesh remains even after processing. The flesh with suitable pH for canning is not easily broken when cut into round shapes. It contains low acid (0.58%) while the sugar (14-17%) is high when the fruit is fresh and ripe. Total Soluble Solids (TSS) that increases to 16-18% after processing helps to reduce sugar input during processing. Therefore, “Maspine” has high potential in canning industry and as an alternative to “Gandul” variety.  Besides, canning “Maspine” can also be turned to fresh juice that can be canned or bottled as clarified carbonated or non-carbonated juice. With balanced high sugar and low acid content makes the fresh fruit taste nice without “biting effect” and suitable as dessert. Dried and semi-dried products can be produced from “Maspine”. The non-spiny leaves can be used as feed for farm animals. Since the leaves are without spines, “Maspine” can be easily handled in the field, especially fruit harvesting thus increases the efficiency of labor and reduces cost of production. In general, it is acceptable by the canning industry.


‘Red Spanish’ proved most dependable despite the spininess of the plant, it still is the most popular among growers in the West Indies,Venezuela andMexico. ‘Red Spanish’ constitutes 85% of all commercial planting inPuerto Rico and 75% of the production for the fresh fruit market. It is only fair for canning. The fruit is more or less round, orange-red externally, with deep eyes, and ranges from 1.36-2.7 kg. The flesh is pale-yellow, fibrous, with a large core, aromatic and flavorful. The fruit is hard when mature, breaks off easily and cleanly at the base in harvesting, and stands handling and transport well. It is highly resistant to fruit rot though subject to gummosis.


 Red Spanish


‘Singapore Red’ (Also called ‘Red Jamaica’, ‘Singapore Spanish’, ‘Singapore Queen’, ‘Singapore Common’) is second to ‘Mauritius’ in popularity. The leaves are usually all-green but sometimes have a reddish stripe near the margins; they are rarely spiny except at the tips. The fruits, cylindrical, reddish, with deep eyes, are small-1.6-2.25 kg-with slender core, fibrous, golden-yellow flesh; insipid raw but valued for canning. The plant is disease and pest-resistant.


The related ‘Green Selangor‘ (also called ‘Selangor Green’, ‘Green Spanish’, and ‘Selassie’) ofMalaysiahas all-green leaves prickly only at the tips. The flesh is golden-yellow, often with white dots. This cultivar is grown for canning.


  Selangor Green


‘Pineapple ‘Panare’ named after the tribe of Indians that has grown it for a long time, is commercially grown to a small extent in the State ofBolivar,Venezuela. The plant is of medium size with long, spiny leaves. The fruit is bottle-shaped, small, 0.45-0.70 kg, with small crown; ovate, with deep eyes; orange externally with deep-yellow flesh; slightly fragrant, with little fiber and small core.


‘Queen’ (also called ‘Common Rough’ in Australia)

The cultivars in this group are widely distributed and quite extensively cultivated for fresh fruits because of its high sugar content and unsuitable canning qualities, is cultivated only for fresh consumption in the world. In Peninsular Malaysia, it is commonly known as ˜Nanas Moris’ derived from the more common international name ˜Mauritius’ and in Sarawak it is called ˜Sarikei’. It is also known as ˜Phuket’, ˜Rough McGregor’, ˜Ripley Queen’, ˜Alexandra’ and ˜Victoria’ in other parts of the world.


Seventy percent of the fresh pineapple fruit produced inMalaysiais from ˜Nanas Moris’.

It is also the leading cultivar in South Africa, Queenslandand the Philippines. The plant is dwarf with short and very spiny, dark purplish-green leaves, compact, more cold and disease resistant than ‘Smooth Cayenne’. The plant sometimes produce robust slips in some variants and most have an average of 2 suckers or more which is sufficient for ratooning or replanting. The fruit is conical, deep-yellow, with deep eyes which require a thick cut to remove the peel completely; is less fibrous than ‘Smooth Cayenne’. It is juicy and sweet, of fine flavor with a small, tender core. Fruits are spiny, golden yellow in color and emit pleasant aroma and flavor when ripe. The fruits are harvested when eyes turns yellow. Average weight of fruit varies from 600 – 800 g. It possesses all the good organoleptic qualities. Juice is bright yellow in color. TSS varies from 10o to 14o Brix depending upon the stage of maturity and season. PH4 to 4.5. Water content 80% to 90%. It is sold fresh and keeps well. It is only fair for canning because of its shape which makes for much waste. Queen cultivars are robust and show higher tolerance to stress, pests and diseases than ‘Smooth Cayenne’. However they are susceptible to black heart disorder.


‘MacGregor’, a variant of ‘Nasal Queen’ selected in South Africa and grown also in Queensland, is a spreading, more vigorous plant with broad leaves and large suckers produced less freely. The fruit is cylindrical, medium to large, with firm flesh and flavor resembling ‘Queen’.


‘James Queen’ (formerly ‘Z’) is a mutation of ‘Nasal Queen’ that originated inSouth Africa. It has larger fruit with square shoulders.


‘Ripley’ or ‘Ripley Queen’, ,grown in Queensland, is a dwarf, compact plant with crimson tinge on leaves; takes 22 weeks from flowering to fruit maturity; is an irregular bearer. The fruit weighs 1.36-2.7 kg; is pale-copper externally; flesh is pale-yellow, non-fibrous, very sweet and rich. InFlorida this cultivar tends to produce suckers without fruiting.


‘Kallara Local’is a little-known cultivar inIndia. Minor strains inThailand are ‘Pattawia’, ‘Calcutta’, ‘Sri Racha’,

‘Intorachit’ and ‘Chantabun’.


‘Mauritius’ (also known as ‘European Pine’, ‘Malacca Queen’, ‘Red Ceylon’ and ‘Red Malacca’) is one of the 2 leading pineapple cultivars in Malaya; also important in India and Ceylon. The leaves are dark green with broad red central stripe and red spines on the margins. The fruit is small, 1.36-2.25 kg, yellow externally; has a thin core and very sweet flesh. It is sold fresh and utilized for juice.


‘Natal Queen’ ofSouth Africa, also grown inEl Salvador, produces many suckers. The fruit weighs 0.75-0.9 kg, golden yellow flesh, crisp texture and delicate mild flavor. Well adapted to fresh consumption. Fruit keeps well after ripening. Leaves are spiny.


‘Pernambuco’ (‘Eleuthera’) and Mordilona
Their cultivation is restricted to certain South American countries like Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and Peru. Pernambuco has an erect growth habit, semi-vigorous with long spiny leaves. The fruits are small, slender and carried on long peduncles. The flesh is white, tender and juicy with low acid and mild flavour. Slips are prominent and numerous, occasionally to the extent of hiding the fruit. Perola is the best known in this group and the most important commercial cultivar inBrazil. It is very susceptible to fusariosis disease which is devastating inBrazil but not important here. ‘Mordilona’ is typified by the ‘piping’ leaf margin where a part of the lower epidermis folds over the edge of the leaf to give a completely spineless leaf form. ‘Perolera’ and ‘Manzana’ are the best known cultivars in this group; they are grown mainly in the northeastern Andes of Colombia andVenezuela. The irregular, cylindrical fruit is large (1.5 to 3 kg) with attractive yellow to orange peel borne on a long peduncle. The flesh is cream to yellow, firm and sweet. Numerous crownlets protrude from the base of the crown and the upper eyes and slips are numerous. ‘Perolera’ has high vitamin C content, is resistant to fusariosis disease and commonly used as a parent in breeding programmes.


‘Pernambuco’ (‘Eleuthera’): 1–2 kg with pale yellow to white flesh. Sweet, melting and excellent for eating fresh. Poorly adapted for shipping.


Cylindrical in shape and with high sugar and acid content. Well adapted to canning and processing. Leaves without spines. This is the variety fromHawaii, and the most easily obtainable stores. Both 73-114 and 73-50 are of this cultivar.


 Queen MacGregor
 Victoria  Phuket
 Sri Racha  Mauritius
 Moris Cultivar  Pattawia
 Natal  Pernambuco

1 Comment

  1. What cultivars are grown in Hawaii? K5

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