|Breadfruit - Artocarpus altilis (Parkinson) Fosberg|
Breadfruit, Autocarpus altilis
The fruit of the breadfruit tree - whole, sliced lengthwise and in cross-section
Close up of skin
Artocarpus altilis (leaves). Location: Maui, Keanae Arboretum
Male and female flowers
Immature fruit and male flower
Artocarpus altilis (Ulu, breadfruit). Fruit and leaves. Keopuolani Park, Maui, Hawaii
A mature breadfruit in Sarawak, where it is known as Sukun. This is an ancient cultivar, spread mainly by planting root cuttings
Artocarpus altilis (leaves and fruit). Location: Maui, Puehuihueiki cemetary Lahaina
Breadfruit tree planted in Honolulu, Hawaii
Artocarpus altilis (Ulu, breadfruit). Fruiting habit. Kahanu Gardens Hana, Maui, Hawaii.
Mature tree with fruit
Artocarpus altilis ("Breadfruit") in Mahe, Seychelles
A polished basalt breadfruit pounder used by the Tahitian people of French Polynesia
Breadfruit and other produce on sale in Kingstown market, Jamaica
Breadfruit - Artocarpus altilis (Parkinson) Fosberg
English: breadfruit; French: L'abre a pan; Spanish: Arbol de pan; Hawai'i, Samoa, Rotuma, Tuvalu: 'Ulu; Society Islands: Uru; Cook Islands: Kuru; Fiji: Uto, Buco; Federate States of Micronesia, Kiribati Marshalls, Marquesas, Tonga, Tuvalu: Mei, Mai; Palau: Meduu; Kosrae: Mos; Papua New Guinea: Kapiak; Solomon Islands: Bia, Bulo, Nimbalu; Vanuatu: Beta; Philippines: Rimas; Indonesia: Sukun 2
Artocarpus communis J.R. and G. Forst.; A. incisus L.f. 1
Artocarpus camansi (breadnut), A. mariannensis (digdug of chebiei)
The wild, seeded, ancestral form of breadfruit is Artocarpus camansi, or Breadnut. It is native to New Guinea, and possibly Indonesia and the Philippines. 2
USDA hardiness zones
Fruit; landscape specimen
Up to 85 ft (26 m) 1
2-6 ft (0.6-1.8 m) 1
Dense, spreading habit
Long lived; will be productive for 50 years 1
Clear trunk to 2 0ft (6.1 m) and 2-6 in. (5.1-15.2 cm) thick, often buttressed at the base; spreading branches; thick with lateral foliage or slender with foliage at tips 1
Little pruning required
Evergreen or deciduous based on conditions; ovate; 9-36 in. (22.9-91.4 cm) X 8-20 in. (20.3-50.8 cm) ; deeply cut into lobes
Male and female (monoecious); tiny flowers
Varies in shape and color; borne singly or in clusters at the tip of the branch
Fruits most of the year with fruit at different stages of developpement on the tree
USDA Nutrient Content pdf
Deep, fertile well-drained soil; great variation in the adaptability of different strains to climatic and soil conditions 1
Aerosol salt tolerance
Soil salt tolerance
Will not survive temperatures below 40° F (4.4° C) . It will not succeed outdoors anywhere in the continental United States except for sheltered locations in extreme South Florida and the Keys 1
25 ft (7.6 m)
No known problem
Invasive potential *
All parts of the tree, including the unripe fruit, are rich in milky, gummy latex 1
Breadfruit from Julia Morton's book Fruits of Warm Climates
Brief Breadfruit Basics from Hawaii Homegrown Food Network and the Breadfruit Institute pdf
The Breadfruit from W. Popenoe's book Manual of Tropical and Subtropical Fruits
Breadfruit Specialty Crop for Pacific Island Agroforestry pdf 19 pages
The breadfruit (A. communis) is known from Polynesia of course, but it is believed to have been introduced there long ago from the island of New Guinea, the Moluccas, and Melanesia. 5
The breadfruit tree is handsome and fast growing, reaching 85 ft (26 m) in height, often with a clear trunk to 20 ft (6 m) becoming 2 to 6 ft (0.6-1.8 m) in width and often buttressed at the base, though some varieties may never exceed 1/4 or 1/2 of these dimensions. There are many spreading branches, some thick with lateral foliage-bearing branchlets, others long and slender with foliage clustered only at their tips. In the green stage, the fruit is hard and the interior is white, starchy and somewhat fibrous. When fully ripe, the fruit is somewhat soft, the interior is cream colored or yellow and pasty, also sweetly fragrant. The seeds are irregularly oval, rounded at one end, pointed at the other, about 3/4 in (2 cm) long, dull-brown with darker stripes. In the center of seedless fruits there is a cylindrical or oblong core, in some types covered with hairs bearing flat, brown, abortive seeds about 1/8 in (3 mm) long. The fruit is borne singly or in clusters of 2 or 3 at the branch tips. The fruit stalk (pedicel) varies from 1 to 5 in (2.5-12.5 cm) long. 1
Fig. 27. Artocarpus altilis (habit). Location: Maui, Keanae Arboretum
Fig. 29. Artocarpus altilis (Ulu, breadfruit). Habit. HawaiiMaui Nui Botanical Garden, Maui, Hawaii
Fig. 30. Artocarpus altilis (Ulu, breadfruit). Habit. Kahanu Gardens Hana, Maui, Hawaii
The leaves, evergreen or deciduous depending on climatic conditions, on thick, yellow petioles to 1 1/2 in (3.8 cm) long, are ovate, 9 to 36 in (22.8-90 cm) long, 8 to 20 in (20-50 cm) wide, entire at the base, then more or less deeply cut into 5 to 11 pointed lobes. They are bright-green and glossy on the upper surface, with conspicuous yellow veins; dull, yellowish and coated with minute, stiff hairs on the underside. 1
Fig. 5,6. Artocarpus altilis (Ulu, breadfruit). Leaf veins. Kahanu Gardens NTBG Kaeleku Hana, Maui, Hawaii
Fig. 7. Leaf emerging
Fig. 9. Leaf internodes
The tree is monoecious (male and female flowers on the same tree) bears a multitude of tiny flowers, the male densely set on a drooping (Fig. 15), cylindrical or club-shaped spike 5 to 12 in (12.5-30 cm) long and 1 to 1 1/2 in (2.5-3.75 cm) thick, yellowish at first and becoming brown. The female (Fig. 13) are massed in a somewhat rounded or elliptic, green, prickly head, 2 1/2 in (6.35 cm) long and 1 1/2 in (3.8 cm) across, which develops into the compound fruit (or syncarp), oblong, cylindrical, ovoid, rounded or pear shaped, 3 1/2 to 18 in (9-45 cm) in length and 2 to 12 in (5-30 cm) in diameter. 1
The male inflorescence appears first. The male flowers are 5 cm in diameter and up to 45 centimeters long. Thousands of tiny flowers are attached to the spongy core. Female inflorescences consist of 1500-2000 reduced flowers also attached to a spongy core. The flowers fuse together and form the fleshy edible part of the fruit. 2
Fig. 14. Male flower emerging
Immature fruit is bright green (Fig. 13) and has not reached full size. It is rubbery and watery even when cooked, lacking the rich flavor and texture of mature fruit. An immature breadfruit will not mature or ripen after picking. Most people who eat immature breadfruit end up not liking it. A ripe breadfruit is soft to the touch with a sweet aromatic fragrance. 3
Breadfruit contains a small amount of white sap, which can stick to knives, pots and steamers. Cutting of the stem immediately after harvest and letting the fruit sit stem end down drains most of the sap. Sap issues can be reduced or eliminated by choosing mature fruit, proper handling, washing and refrigeration. In the kitchen, breadfruit should be soaked for 1–2 minutes in cold, clean water and washed to remove any sap or debris on the skin. 3
Maturity is indicated by the appearance of small drops of latex on the surface.
Fig. 21. Fruiting habit
An unpublished report of 1921 covered 200 cultivars of breadfruit in the Marquesas. The South Pacific Commission published the results of a breadfruit survey in 1966. In it, there were described 166 named sorts from Tonga, Niue, Western and American Samoa, Papua and New Guinea, New Hebrides and Rotuma. There are 70 named varieties of seeded and seedless breadfruits in Fiji. 1
Selected varieties from the Breadfruit Institute in Hawaii ext. link
The Breadfruit Collection from the USDA Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Diseases Research
Breadfruits are picked when maturity is indicated by the appearance of small drops of latex on the surface. 1
Mature fruit: Look for greenish-yellow skin, a smooth surface, and brownish cracking between the surface segments. The esh inside is rm and creamy white or pale yellow in color. Some varieties vary in maturity indicators. 3
Honeybees have been observed actively working the male inflorescence and collecting pollen, especially from fertile, seeded accessions. Other insects such as earwigs have also been observed on the male inflorescence. 4
Breadfruit is easy to propagate from root shoots or root cuttings, by air-layering branches, or from seeds. Breadfruit can also be grafted using various techniques. Stem cuttings are not used. Seeds are rarely grown because they do not develop true to type. Vegetative propagation is a must for seedless varieties, and root shoots or root cuttings are the preferred methods for both seeded and seedless varieties.
New Breadfruit Trees from Stem Cuttings from the Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia
Trees generally do not require any training or pruning except to remove dead branches and to trim them to a height convenient for cultivation. 4
Soft-scales and mealybugs are found on breadfruit trees in the West Indies and ants infest branches that die back after fruiting.
In southern India, the fruits on the tree are subject to soft rot. This fungus disease can be controlled by two sprays of Bordeaux mixture, one month apart. Young breadfruit trees in Trinidad have been killed by a disease caused by Rosellinia sp. In the Pacific Islands Fusarium sp. is believed to be the cause of die back, and Pythium sp. is suspected in cases of root rot. A mysterious malady, called "Pingalap disease", killed thousands of trees from 1957 to 1960 in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, the Caroline Islands, Marshalls and Mariannas. The foliage wilts and then the branch dies back. Sometimes the whole tree is affected and killed to the roots; occasionally only half of a tree declines. The fungus, Phytophthora palmivora, attacks the fruit on the island of Truk. Phomopsis, Dothiorella and Phylospora cause stem-end rot. 1
Breadfruit is versatile and can be cooked and eaten at all stages of its development. It can be eaten raw, boiled, steamed or roasted. Very small fruits, 2-6 cm or larger in diameter, can be boiled and have a flavour similar to that of artichoke hearts. They can also be pickled and marinated. 4
Compared with other staple starch crops, breadfruit is a better source of protein than is cassava; it is comparable to sweet potato and banana. It is a relatively good source of iron, calcium, potassium and riboflavin. Fermented breadfruit and breadfruit paste are both traditional products. Processing breadfruit into a snack such as chips, flour, pulverized starch or even freeze-drying it are all common methods of consuming or preserving it. 4
The seeds are cooked with the raw breadfruit or removed and roasted or boiled. They are
firm, close-textured and have a sweet, pleasant taste that is most often compared with chestnuts. 4
The leaves are widely used to wrap food for cooking and serving. 4
Fig. 31. Sliced and fried breadfruit in a bag, cuisine of Tanzania
Fig. 32. Breadfruit roasted seeds
Video on Traditional Cooking Method ext. link
How to Cook Breadfruit ext. link
Breadfruit Nutritional Value and Versatility from Hawaii Homegrown Food Network and the Breadfruit Institute pdf
Selecting and Cooking Breadfruit from the Breadfruit Institute in Hawaii ext. link
Medicinal Uses **
Toasted flowers are rubbed on the gums around aching teeth to ease pain. Latex is massaged into the skin to treat broken bones and sprains and is bandaged on the spine to relieve sciatica. It is commonly used to treat skin ailments and fungal diseases such as thrush. The latter is also treated with crushed leaves. Diluted latex is taken internally to treat diarrhoea, stomach-ache and dysentery. Latex and juice from the crushed leaves are both traditionally used in the Pacific Islands to treat ear infections. The root is an astringent and is used as a purgative; when macerated it was used as a poultice for skin ailments. The bark is used in several Pacific Islands to treat headache. 4
In the West Indies, the yellowing leaf is brewed into a tea and taken to reduce high blood pressure. The tea is also thought to control diabetes. Leaves are used in Taiwan to treat liver diseases and fevers, and an extract from the flowers was effective in treating ear oedema. Bark extracts exhibited strong cytotoxic activities against leukaemia cells in tissue culture, and extracts from roots and stem barks showed some antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive bacteria and may have potential in treating tumours. 4
Traditionally the wood was widely used for construction of houses and canoes because of its resistance to termites and marine worms. The wood is used in Haiti to make bowls, carvings, furniture and even surfboards. 4
The trees are an important source of firewood on the atolls of the Pacific. 4
The generic name comes from the Greek words ‘artos’ (bread) and ‘karpos’ (fruit). The fruit is eaten and is commonly called breadfruit. 4
Fig. 33. Stamp from St-Vincent Island in the Caribbean
The Breadfruit Institute, National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii ext. link
The Breadfruit - The Tree that Caused a Mutiny from the Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia
Breadfruit from the Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia
A Guide to Artocarpus Fruits from the Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia
Breadfruit Production Guide from Hawaii Homegrown Food Network and the Breadfruit Institute pdf 42 pages (large file)
The Breadfruit from the Tropical Fruit News, Miami Rare Fruit Council
Artocarpus altilis from the World Agroforesty Database
Breadfruit Botanical Art
List of Growers and Vendors
1 Morton, J. "Breadfruit." hort.purdue.edu. Fruits of warm climates, p. 50–58. 1987. Web. 23 Aug. 2014.
2 "Artocarpus altilis." ntbg.org. National Tropical Botanical Garden. Web. 3 May 2015.
3 "Brief Breadfruit Basics." hawaiihomegrown.net/breadfruit. Hawaii Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden and Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network. 2013.
4 Orwa C, A Mutua, Kindt R , Jamnadass R, and S Anthony. "Artocarpus altilis (Parkinson) Fosberg" worldagroforestry.org. Agroforestree 4 Database: a tree reference and selection guide version 4.0. 2009. Web. 29 Mar. 2017.
5 Chandlee, David K. "Breadfruit." rfcarchives.org.au. Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia. Treefarm, El Arish, Q. 4855. Nov. 1983. Web. 2 May 2015.
Fig. 1,10,21 Carr, Gerald, D. Autocarpus altilis Moraceae. N.d. botany.hawaii.edu. University of Hawaii, Botany Department, Manoa Campus Plants. Web. 23 Aug. 2014.
Fig. 2 The fruit of the breadfruit tree - whole, sliced lengthwise and in cross-section. 2006. US Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center. wikimedia.org. Public domain. Web. 27 Mar. 2017.
Fig. 3 Starr, Forest and Kim. Artocarpus altilis (breadfruit) fruit at Maui Nui Botanical Garden, Maui. 2004. starrenvironmental.com. Under (CC BY 4.0). Web. 23 Aug. 2014.
Fig. 4 Starr, Forest and Kim. Artocarpus altilis (leaves). Location: Maui, Keanae Arboretum. 2003. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY 3.0). Web. 28 Mar. 2017.
Fig. 5,6 Starr, Forest and Kim. Artocarpus altilis (Ulu, breadfruit). Leaf veins. Kahanu Gardens NTBG Kaeleku Hana, Maui, Hawaii. 2009. starrenvironmental.com. Under (CC BY 4.0). Web. 29 Mar. 2017.
Fig. 7,8,9,26 Kwan. Artocarpus altilis, Breadfruit. 2007. natureloveyou.sg. Web. 23 Aug. 2013.
Fig. 11,12,14,15,19,20,28 Marlor, Alan. "Breadfruit Series." 2014. sunvillas.com. JPG File.
Fig. 13 Starr, Forest and Kim. Artocarpus altilis (breadfruit) fruit and flower stalk at Waihee, Maui. 2011. starrenvironmental.com. Under (CC BY 4.0). Web. 23 Aug. 2014.
Fig. 16 Starr, Forest and Kim. Artocarpus altilis (Ulu, breadfruit). Fruit and leaves. Keopuolani Park, Maui, Hawaii. 2006. starrenvironmental.com. Under (CC BY 4.0). Web. 31 Mar.2017.
Fig. 18 Culbert, Dick. A mature breadfruit in Sarawak, where it is known as Sukun. This is an ancient cultivar, spread mainly by planting root cuttings. 2006. flickr.com. Under (CC BY 2.0). Web. 29 Mar. 2017.
Fig. 22 Starr, Forest and Kim. Artocarpus altilis (leaves and fruit). Location: Maui, Puehuihueiki cemetary Lahaina. 2003. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY 3.0). Web. 27 Mar. 2017.
Fig. 23 Gachet. Breadfruit tree planted in Honolulu, Hawaii. 2005. wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0) and GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 . Web. 27 Mar. 2017.
Fig. 24 Starr, Forest and Kim. Artocarpus altilis (Ulu, breadfruit). Fruiting habit. Kahanu Gardens Hana, Maui, Hawaii. 2012. starrenvironmental.com. Under (CC BY 4.0). Web. 29 Mar. 2017.
Fig. 25 Schneider, Marion and Christoph Aistleitner. Artocarpus altilis ("Breadfruit") in Mahe, Seychelles. 2008. commons.wikimedia.org. Under Public domain. Web. 27 Mar. 2017.
Fig. 27 Starr, Forest and Kim. Artocarpus altilis (habit). Location: Maui, Keanae Arboretum. 2003. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY 3.0). Web. 27 Mar. 2017.
Fig. 29 Starr, Forest and Kim. Breadfruit - Artocarpus altilis. Habit. Maui Nui Botanical Garden, Maui, Hawaii. 2004. starrenvironmental.com. Under (CC BY 4.0). Web. 23 Aug. 2014.
Fig. 30 Starr, Forest and Kim. Artocarpus altilis (breadfruit) habit at Kahanu Gardens Hana, Maui. 2012. starrenvironmental.com. Under (CC BY 4.0). Web. 23 Aug. 2014.
Fig. 31 SajjadF. Sliced & Fried Breadfruit in a Bag. Cuisine of Tanzania. 2013. wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 27 Mar. 2017.
Fig. 32 Fpalli. Breadfruit seeds. N.d. tropical.theferns.info. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 29 Mar. 2017.
Fig. 33 Morgan, Mark. Breadfruit. 2015. flickr.com. Under (CC BY 2.0). Web. 29 Mar. 2017.
Fig. 34 Hiart . A polished basalt breadfruit pounder used by the Tahitian people of French Polynesia. 2011. From the Honolulu Academy of Arts collection. wikimedia.org. Under (CC0 1.0). Web. 27 Mar. 2017.
Fig. 35 All, Jonathan. Breadfruit and other produce on sale in Kingstown market. 2008. flickr.com. Under (BY-NC-SA 2.0). Web. 29 Mar. 2017.
* UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas
** Information provided is not intended to be used as a guide for treatment of medical conditions.
Published 23 Aug. 2014 LR. Last update 31 Mar. 2017 LR