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Breadfruit

Artocarpus altilis

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Breadfruit is a tall, evergreen tropical tree with divided leaves and large green to yellow fruits with an edible, starchy, white or cream-coloured flesh & a lumpy surface. Being a staple starch to many in the South Pacific & Asia; the taste when cooked has been compa​red to bread or potato. Cultivars grown for food are normally seedless, these are preferable above cultivars with seeds which are also eaten. This is not only a food plant in the tropics, but is also used for timber, medicinal use, & occasionally planted as an ornamental tree.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer
Fruiting time
Summer

Harvesting

Some fruits may drop prematurely, but most fruits develop and should be harvested when mature. Fruits quickly ripen in just 1–3 days after harvest. Shelf life can be extended by careful harvesting and pre-cooling fruits with chipped ice in the field and during transport.

Propagation

Cuttings
Root cuttings can be used to mass-propagate breadfruit.
Seed
Seeds have little or no endosperm and no period of dormancy; they germinate immediately and are unable to withstand desiccation. Seeds are rarely used for propagation.

Special features

Repels harmful insects
Its lightweight wood is resistant to termites and shipworms.
Attracts useful insects
Attracts honeybees.
Attracts birds
Provides food & shelter to various birds such as native doves.
Hedge plant
Because of its stature and dense foliage when grown in the open, breadfruit is well suited as a specimen or shade tree that can serve as a visual screen when sited correctly.

Geography

Origin
Indigenous to the South Pacific region & Southeast Asia.
Natural climate
Tropical

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Wet
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Alkaline, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Notes
Food plant in the tropics, timber, medicinal, occasionally planted as an ornamental.

Personality

Family
Moraceae
Flower colour
Green
Scent
None

Problems

Mealybug & fruitfly infestations. Phellinus noxius, a root rot, and fruit rots caused by Phytophthora, Colletotrichum (anthracnose), and Rhizopus can also be a problem.
Root Rot
Root Rot
Phytophthora spp.

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