La Mé (Standard variety)
The genetics of the La Mé variety refers to advanced generations of the variety previously known as Deli x La Mé. The dura mother palms of this variety are descendants of the four original Deli palms introduced from Africa to Sumatra, Indonesia. During the period between 1970 and 1980, ASD introduced genetically improved Deli origin palms to Costa Rica from renowned breeding centers such as MARDI (Malaysian Agricultural Research Institute), Chemara Research Center and Banting Research Station in Malaysia, DAMI in New Guinea and SOCFIN in Indonesia.
The commercial seeds of the La Mé variety, come from the third and fourth filial generations (F3 and F4) of the populations of Deli dura mothers mentioned above. The current mother palms were planted in Coto between 1996 and 2008. These mothers are crossed with fathers descending from a La Mé population, whose selection and initial breeding process was carried out in Ivory Coast, from where it was introduced to Costa Rica in 1979. For current seed production, pisifera parents from the first and second generations of breeding carried out in Costa Rica, sown between 1991 and 2010, are used.
The palms of the La Mé variety have moderate vertical growth (53 cm/year), but because their leaves are of normal length, they are planted at the conventional density of 143 palms per hectare. The variety produces well-formed bunches, with small fruits (6 g) whose oil content is moderate.
The La Mé variety stands out for its good tolerance to drought and it shows average tolerance to the common spear rot/crown complex. As with all varieties produced by ASD, La Mé palms do not require assisted pollination at any stage of development.