Hollow nuts Minimize
September 2006. Guam asked about a problem of a young coconut palm producing cracked, hollow coconuts. What could be the possible causes of this condition?

Members gave three suggestions:

  1. The elongated nature of the nut is reminiscent of the condition in the Santa Cruz group of Solomon Islands thought to be caused by feeding of the Pentatomid stink bug, Axiagastus campbelli. It was thought that the feeding of Axiagastus causes a constriction of the nut giving a typical banana shape.
  2. Another idea of the Santa Cruz disorder was that there was some fault in the fertilisation of the fruit so that they did not swell, i.e., they enlarged lengthwise, but not in circumference. Neither hyposthesis was proven.
  3. A third idea mentioned by members was boron deficiency. It produces elongate, cracked empty nuts. To check, cut the fruit longitudinally and look for sooty material or partially formed kernals. Apply borax along with potassium and see if the condition is alleviated.