Breadfruit, Artocarpus altilis
||High (10-12 hours)
||Medium (2-3x week)
||30" x 40"
The breadfruit tree is handsome and fast growing, reaching 85' or more in the wild, although cultivated trees are seldom taller than 40' There are many spreading branches, some thick with lateral foliage-bearing branchlets, others long and slender with foliage clustered only at their tips. The large, glossy, tropical leaves can be up to 3' tall and 2' wide, with beautiful notched lobes similar to acanthus foliage.
The tree bears separate male and female flowers; the female are massed in a rounded cluster that develops into the compound fruit (or syncarp), oblong, cylindrical, ovoid, rounded or pear-shaped, that can be up to 18" long and 12" wide. Generally the rind is green at first, turning yellowish-green, yellow or yellow-brown when ripe.
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, and sweetly fragrant. The fruit is said to taste like warm fresh bread, hence the common name "breadfruit."
Unfortunately, the breadfruit is ultra-tropical, much more tender than almost any other tropical fruit that can be grown in South Florida. It has been reported that it requires a temperature range of 60° to 100°F (15.56°-37.78°C), an annual rainfall of 80 to 100 in (203-254 cm), and a relative humidity of 70 to 80%. Because of South Florida's regular dry season with reduced temperatures and humidity, breadfruit almost never sets fruit in South Florida. It is occasionally grown as a garden novelty for its dramatic foliage, but should not be considered if heavy fruit production is desired. The closely related jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) sets fruit much more reliably in South Florida and is more tolerant of climate conditions.
THE WILD PAPAYA…
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