Nature, along with careful cultivation, has given us more than 500 varieties of pecan, each with its own distinct shape, flavor and shell structure. However, in the United States—the world leader in pecan production—a select few varieties are prized for cooking and consumption. The following descriptions, developed by the LSU AgCenter, give insight into those Louisiana pecans most sought after by chefs and foodies alike.
Trees produce early ripening, small nuts (66 nuts/lb.) with thick shells and attractive kernels (48%) that have high quality and good flavor. Trees are vigorous with dense, dark green foliage and a strong framework. Trees begin to bear in four to five years, but will tend to bear in alternate years as trees grow older.
Trees produce a round, small nuts (67 nuts/lb.) with a thick shell and a bright, well flavored kernel (53%). Nuts have excellent cracking characteristics. Trees bear in six to eight years. Elliott has excellent resistance to scab, but is susceptible to bunch disease. This variety has been widely planted in south Louisiana.
Trees produce attractive, medium-large nuts (48 nuts/lb.) with a light, good quality kernel (55%). Trees bear at a relatively early age - five to six years. It is recommended for yard plantings because of excellent scab resistance.
Trees are prolific producers of medium-large, oblong nuts (53 nuts/lb.) with bright, attractive kernels (57%). Nuts have excellent cracking qualities. Trees bear in six to eight years. It has moderate resistance to scab and shuck disease, but is susceptible to powdery mildew and bunch disease. This variety is recommended more for northern Louisiana because it often develops severe scab disease in southern Louisiana.
Trees are prolific producers of football-shaped, medium-sized nuts (60 nuts/lb.), pointed at both ends with thin shells and bright attractive kernels (56%). Nuts have excellent cracking qualities. Caddo has moderate scab resistance and good bunch disease resistance; however, it is susceptible to black aphids and powdery mildew.
Trees are good producers of large, oblong nuts (48 nuts/lb.) with thin shells and attractive kernels (56%). Nuts have excellent cracking qualities. Oconee has moderate scab resistance.
Trees are consistent producers of large nuts (39 nuts/lb.) with medium shells and bright, well-filled, excellent quality kernels (53%). Nuts have excellent cracking qualities. Trees have low alternate bearing tendencies. Jackson has moderate scab resistance.