Artocarpus altilis

Artocarpus altilis (Parkinson) Fosberg

Common Names: Bread Fruit

Family: Moraceae

Habit: Artocarpus altilis grows as a large tree to 18 m in height and to 1 m in width with a milky latex. The drooping leaves are arranged alternately (clustered at branch tips), obovate, to 90 cm in length, pinnately lobed, with an acute leaf apex. Where the petiole attaches to the stem there is a prominent ring on the stem formed from the dehiscent apical sheath.  The apical sheath has a slight hook at its tip known as a “cat’s claw”. Leaves ab- and adaxially pubescent along the veins.  There are 2 stipules surrounding the stem and apical bud to 15 cm in length.

Artocarpus altilis is monoecious. The highly reduced incomplete, imperfect, actinomorphic, flowers are in spikes. There is no calyx. The corolla has 2-4 fleshy petals fused at their base. Staminate flowers have a single stamen and no carpel. Pistillate flowers have no stamens and a single carpel.  The fleshy perianth enlarges and the entire inflorescence forms a compound fruit.

Typically pollinated by fruit bats there are many seedless varieties that produce the fruit without pollination.

Habitat: Artocarpus altilis grows in Human Altered environments (gardens, farms, yards.

Distribution: Artocarpus altilis is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago but occurs in many island groupings.  It is native to New Guinea, the Maluku Islands and the Philippines.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Artocarpus altilis is known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago to treat high blood pressure, hypertension and diabetes.

The fruit is delicious!