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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 556: V International Congress on Hazelnut

GEVUINA AVELLANA : POTENTIAL FOR COMMERCIAL NUT CLONES

Author:   F. Medel
Keywords:   Gevuin, Chile Nut, Chilean hazelnut, genetic improvement
Abstract:
Gevuina avellana Mol., known as "Gevuin", "Chile Nut" and "Chilean Hazelnut" is a native evergreen tree that belongs to a monospecific genus of the family Proteaceae in Chile. The range of this species extends from sea level to 700 m. In its geographic distribution, Gevuina grows in a temperate oceanic climate that is cool and wet and frosts are common. Trees can be grown in well-drained soils with a pH range from acid to neutral and a range of organic matter content. It is a beautiful ornamental plant that provides abundant nectar and pollen for insects as well as valuable and durable wood. Its main use is related to its high quality edible nuts. The fruit is a black lignified drupe with a thin, easy-to-peel, smooth shell, and there is little waste in the cracking process. The kernel is creamy-white with a crisp texture. The kernels are highly nutritious due to their protein, vitamin E, and monounsaturated fatty acid content. A program to genetically improve and commercialize this new nut has been underway since 1970. In this paper, the characteristics of eleven selected clones are presented. Six superior clones have been identified and their release as cultivars will allow the development of a commercial market. The commercial potential for Gevuina and basic considerations for continuing the genetic improvement program are analyzed.
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