From the book
Fruits of Warm Climates
by Julia F. Morton
Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.
Pests and Diseases
The jackfruit, Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam. (syns. A. integrifolius Auct. NOT L. f.; A integrifolia L. f.; A. integra Merr.; Rademachia integra
Thunb. ), of the family Moraceae, is also called jak-fruit, jak, jaca,
and, in Malaysia and the Philippines, nangka; in Thailand, khanun; in
Cambodia, khnor; in Laos, mak mi or may mi; in Vietnam, mit. It is an
excellent example of a food prized in some areas of the world and
allowed to go to waste in others. O.W. Barrett wrote in 1928: ";The
jaks . . . are such large and interesting fruits and the trees so
well-behaved that it is difficult to explain the general lack of
knowledge concerning them."
Fig. 15: A heavily fruiting jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) on the grounds of the old Hobson estate, Coconut Grove. Miami, Eila.
Plate 6: JACKFRUIT, Artocarpus heterophyllus
tree is handsome and stately, 30 to 70 ft (9-21 m) tall, with
evergreen, alternate, glossy, somewhat leathery leaves to 9 in (22.5
cm) long, oval on mature wood, sometimes oblong or deeply lobed on
young shoots. All parts contain a sticky, white latex. Short, stout
flowering twigs emerge from the trunk and large branches, or even from
the soil-covered base of very old trees. The tree is monoecious: tiny
male flowers are borne in oblong clusters 2 to 4 in (5-10 cm) in
length; the female flower clusters are elliptic or rounded. Largest of
all tree-borne fruits, the jackfruit may be 8 in to 3 ft (20-90 cm)
long and 6 to 20 in (15-50 cm) wide, and the weight ranges from 10 to
60 or even as much as 110 lbs (4.5-20 or 50 kg). The "rind' or exterior
of the compound or aggregate fruit is green or yellow when ripe and
composed of numerous hard, cone-like points attached to a thick and
rubbery, pale yellow or whitish wall. The interior consists of large
"bulbs" (fully developed perianths) of yellow, banana-flavored flesh,
massed among narrow ribbons of thin, tough undeveloped perianths (or
perigones), and a central, pithy core. Each bulb encloses a smooth,
oval, light-brown "seed" (endocarp) covered by a thin white membrane
(exocarp). The seed is 3/4 to 1 1/2 in (2-4 cm) long and 1/2 to 3/4 in
(1.25-2 cm) thick and is white and crisp within. There may be 100 or up
to 500 seeds in a single fruit. When fully ripe, the unopened jackfruit
emits a strong disagreeable odor, resembling that of decayed onions,
while the pulp of the opened fruit smells of pineapple and banana.
Origin and Distribution
one knows the jackfruit's place of origin but it is believed indigenous
to the rainforests of the Western Ghats. It is cultivated at low
elevations throughout India, Burma, Ceylon, southern China, Malaya, and
the East Indies. It is common in the Philippines, both cultivated and
naturalized. It is grown to a limited extent in Queensland and
Mauritius. In Africa, it is often planted in Kenya, Uganda and former
Zanzibar. Though planted in Hawaii prior to 1888, it is still rare
there and in other Pactfic islands, as it is in most of tropical
America and the West Indies. It was introduced into northern Brazil in
the mid-19th Century and is more popular there and in Surinam than
elsewhere in the New World.
In 1782, plants from a captured
French ship destined for Martinique were taken to Jamaica where the
tree is now common, and about 100 years later, the jackfruit made its
appearance in Florida, presumably imported by the Reasoner's Nursery
from Ceylon. The United States Department of Agriculture's Report on
the Conditions of Tropical and Semitropical Fruits in the United States
in 1887 states: "There are but few specimens in the State. Mr. Bidwell,
at Orlando, has a healthy young tree, which was killed back to the
ground, however, by the freeze of 1886. " There are today less than a
dozen bearing jackfruit trees in South Florida and these are valued
mainly as curiosities. Many seeds have been planted over the years but
few seedlings have survived, though the jackfruit is hardier than its
close relative, the breadfruit (q.v.).
In South India, the
jackfruit is a popular food ranking next to the mango and banana in
total annual production. There are more than 100,000 trees in backyards
and grown for shade in betelnut, coffee, pepper and cardamom
plantations. The total area planted to jackfruit in all India is
calculated at 14,826 acres (26,000 ha). Government horticulturists
promote the planting of jackfruit trees along highways, waterways and
railroads to add to the country's food supply.
There are over
11,000 acres (4,452 ha) planted to jack fruit in Ceylon, mainly for
timber, with the fruit a much-appreciated by-product. The tree is
commonly cultivated throughout Thailand for its fruit. Away from the
Far East, the jackfruit has never gained the acceptance accorded the
breadfruit (except in settlements of people of East Indian origin).
This is due largely to the odor of the ripe fruit and to traditional
preference for the breadfruit.
South India, jackfruits are classified as of two general types: 1)
Koozha chakka, the fruits of which have small, fibrous, soft, mushy,
but very sweet carpels; 2) Koozha pazham, more important commercially,
with crisp carpers of high quality known as Varika. These types are
apparently known in different areas by other names such as Barka, or
Berka (soft, sweet and broken open with the hands), and Kapa or Kapiya
(crisp and cut open with a knife). The equivalent types are known as
Kha-nun nang (firm; best) and Kha-nun lamoud (soft) in Thailand; and as
Vela (soft) and Varaka, or Waraka (firm) in Ceylon.
Peniwaraka, or honey jak, has sweet pulp, and some have claimed it the
best of all. The Kuruwaraka has small, rounded fruits. Dr. David
Fairchild, writing of the honey jak in Ceylon, describes the rind as
dark-green in contrast to the golden yellow pulp when cut open for
eating, but the fruits of his own tree in Coconut Grove and those of
the Matheson tree which he maintained were honey jaks are definitely
yellow when ripe. The Vela type predominates in the West Indies.
described two types: the Khuja (green, hard and smooth, with juicy pulp
and small seeds); the Ghila (rough, soft, with thin pulp, not very
juicy, and large seeds). Dutta says Khujja, or Karcha, has pale-brown
or occcasionally pale-green rind, and pulp as hard as an apple; Ghila,
or Ghula, is usually light-green, occasionally brownish, and has soft
pulp, sweet or acidulously sweet. He describes 8 varieties, only one
with a name. This is Hazari; similar to Rudrakshi; which has a
relatively smooth rind and flesh of inferior quality.
'Singapore', or 'Ceylon', jack, a remarkably early bearer producing
fruit in 18 months to 2 1/2 years from transplanting, was introduced
into India from Ceylon and planted extensively in 1949. The fruit is of
medium size with small, fibrous carpers which are very sweet. In
addition to the summer crop (June and July), there is a second crop
from October to December. In 1961, the Horticultural Research Institute
at Saharanpur, India, reported the acquisition of air-layered plants of
the excellent varieties, 'Safeda', 'Khaja', 'Bhusila', 'Bhadaiyan' and
'Handia' and others. The Fruit Experimental Station at Burliar,
established a collection of 54 jackfruit clones from all producing
countries, and ultimately selected 'T Nagar Jack' as the best in
quality and yield. The Fruit Experimental Station at Kallar, began
breeding work in 1952 with a view to developing short, compact,
many-branched trees, precocious and productive, bearing large, yellow,
high quality fruits, 1/2 in the main season, 1/2 late. 'Singapore Jack'
was chosen as the female parent because of its early and late crops;
and, as the male parent, 'Velipala', a local selection from the forest
having large fruits with large carpers of superior quality, and borne
regularly in the main summer season. After 25 years of testing, one
hybrid was rated as outstanding for precocity, fruit size, off-season
as well as main season production, and yield excelling its parents. It
had not been named when reported on by Chellappan and Roche in 1982. In
Assam, nurserymen have given names such as 'Mammoth', 'Everbearer', and
'Rose-scented' to preferred types.
in Madras have found that hand-pollination produces fruits with more of
the fully developed bulbs than does normal wind-pollination.
jackfruit is adapted only to humid tropical and near-tropical climates.
It is sensitive to frost in its early life and cannot tolerate drought.
If rainfall is deficient, the tree must be irrigated. In India, it
thrives in the Himalayan foothills and from sea-level to an altitude of
5,000 ft (1,500 m) in the south. It is stated that jackfruits grown
above 4,000 ft (1,200 m) are of poor quality and usable only for
cooking. The tree ascends to about 800 ft (244 m) in Kwangtung, China.
jackfruit tree flourishes in rich, deep soil of medium or open texture,
sometimes on deep gravelly or laterite soil. It will grow, but more
slowly and not as tall in shallow limestone. In India, they say that
the tree grows tall and thin on sand, short and thick on stony land. It
cannot tolerate "wet feet". If the roots touch water, the tree will not
bear fruit or may die.
is usually by seeds which can be kept no longer than a month before
planting. Germination requires 3 to 8 weeks but is expedited by soaking
seeds in water for 24 hours. Soaking in a 10% solution of gibberellic
acid results in 100% germination. The seeds may be sown in situ or may
be nursery-germinated and moved when no more than 4 leaves have
appeared. A more advanced seedling, with its long and delicate tap
root, is very difficult to transplant successfully. Budding and
grafting attempts have often been unsuccessful, though Ochse considers
the modified Forkert method of budding feasible. Either jackfruit or
champedak (q.v.) seedlings may serve as rootstocks and the grafting may
be done at any time of year. Inarching has been practiced and advocated
but presents the same problem of transplanting after separation from
the scion parent. To avoid this and yet achieve consistently early
bearing of fruits of known quality, air-layers produced with the aid of
growth promoting hormones are being distributed in India. In Florida
cuttings of young wood have been rooted under mist. At Calcutta
University, cuttings have been successfully rooted only with forced and
etiolated shoots treated with indole butyric acid (preferably at 5,000
mg/l) and kept under mist. Tissue culture experiments have been
conducted at the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bangalore.
one-month-old seedlings in a gibberellic acid solution (25-200 ppm)
enhances shoot growth. Gibberellic acid spray and paste increase root
growth. In plantations, the trees are set 30 to 40 ft (9-12 m) apart.
Young plantings require protection from sunscald and from grazing
animals, hares, deer, etc. Seeds in the field may be eaten by rats.
Firminger describes the quaint practice of raising a young seedling in
a 3 to 4 ft (0.9-1.2 m) bamboo tube, then bending over and coiling the
pliant stem beneath the soil, with only the tip showing. In 5 years,
such a plant is said to produce large and fine fruits on the spiral
underground. In Travancore, the whole fruit is buried, the many
seedlings which spring up are bound together with straw and they
gradually fuse into one tree which bears in 6 to 7 years. Seedlings may
ordinarily take 4 to 14 years to come into bearing, though certain
precocious cultivars may begin to bear in 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 years. The
jackfruit is a fairly rapid grower, reaching 58 ft (17.5 m) in height
and 28 in (70 cm) around the trunk in 20 years in Ceylon. It is said to
live as long as 100 years. However, productivity declines with age. In
Thailand, it is recommended that alternate rows be planted every 10
years so that 20-year-old trees may be routinely removed from the
plantation and replaced by a new generation. Little attention has been
given to the tree's fertilizer requirements. Severe symptoms of
manganese deficiency have been observed in India.
harvesting, the fruiting twigs may be cut back to the trunk or branch
to induce flowering the next season. In the Cachar district of Assam,
production of female flowers is said to be stimulated by slashing the
tree with a hatchet, the shoots emerging from the wounds; and branches
are lopped every 3 to 4 years to maintain fruitfulness. On the other
hand, studies at the University of Kalyani, West Bengal, showed that
neither scoring nor pruning of shoots increases fruit set and that
ringing enhances fruit set only the first year, production declining in
the second year.
Asia, jackfruits ripen principally from March to June, April to
September, orJune to August, depending on the climatic region, with
some off-season crops from September to December, or a few fruits at
other times of the year. In the West Indies, I have seen many ripening
in June; in Florida, the season is late summer and fall.
Fig. 16: Much white, gummy latex flows from the jackfruit stalk when the slightly underripe fruit is harvested.
mature 3 to 8 months from flowering. In Jamaica, an "X" is sometimes
cut in the apex of the fruit to speed ripening and improve flavor.
India, a good yield is 150 large fruits per tree annually, though some
trees bear as many as 250 and a fully mature tree may produce 500,
these probably of medium or small size.
turn brown and deteriorate quickly after ripening. Cold storage trials
indicate that ripe fruits can be kept for 3 to 6 weeks at 52° to
55°F (11.11°-12.78°C) and relative humidity of 85 to 95%.
Pests and Diseases
Principal insect pests in India are the shoot-borer caterpillar, Diaphania caesalis; mealybugs. Nipaecoccus viridis, Pseudococcus corymbatus, and Ferrisia virgata, the spittle bug, Cosmoscarta relata, and jack scale, Ceroplastes rubina. The most destructive and widespread bark borers are Indarbela tetraonis and Batocera rufomaculata. Other major pests are the stem and fruit borer, Margaronia caecalis, and the brown bud-weevil, Ochyromera artocarpio. In southern China, the larvae of the longicorn beetles, including Apriona germarri; Pterolophia discalis, Xenolea tomenlosa asiatica, and Olenecamptus bilobus
seriously damage the fruit stem. The caterpillar of the leaf webbers,
Perina nuda and Diaphania bivitralis, is a minor problem, as are
aphids, Greenidea artocarpi and Toxoptera aurantii; and thrips, Pseudodendrothrips dwivarna.
Diseases of importance include pink disease, Pelliculana (Corticium) salmonicolor, stem rot, fruit rot and male inflorescence rot caused by Rhizopus artocarpi; and leafspot due to Phomopsis artocarpina, Colletotrichum lagenarium, Septoria artocarpi, and other fungi. Gray blight, Pestalotia elasticola, charcoal rot, Ustilana zonata, collar rot, Rosellinia arcuata, and rust, Uredo artocarpi, occur on jackfruit in some regions.
fruits may be covered with paper sacks when very young to protect them
from pests and diseases. Burkill says the bags encourage ants to swarm
over the fruit and guard it from its enemies.
Fig. 17: Dried slices of peeled unripe jackfruit are commonly marketed in Southeast Asia
Fig 18: Jackfruit seeds, salvaged from the ripe fruits, are sold for boiling or roasting like chestnuts.
generally will find the jackfruit most acceptable in the full-grown but
unripe stage, when it has no objectionable odor and excels cooked green
breadfruit and plantain. The fruit at this time is simply cut into
large chunks for cooking, the only handicap being its copious gummy
latex which accumulates on the knife and the hands unless they are
first rubbed with salad oil. The chunks are boiled in lightly salted
water until tender, when the really delicious flesh is cut from the
rind and served as a vegetable, including the seeds which, if
thoroughly cooked, are mealy and agreeable. The latex clinging to the
pot may be removed by rubbing with oil. The flesh of the unripe fruit
has been experimentally canned in brine or with curry. It may also be
dried and kept in tins for a year. Cross sections of dried, unripe
jackfruit are sold in native markets in Thailand. Tender young fruits
may be pickled with or without spices.
If the jackfruit is
allowed to ripen, the bulbs and seeds may be extracted outdoors; or, if
indoors, the odorous residue should be removed from the kitchen at
once. The bulbs may then be enjoyed raw or cooked (with coconut milk or
otherwise); or made into ice cream, chutney, jam, jelly, paste,
"leather" or papad, or canned in sirup made with sugar or honey with
citric acid added. The crisp types of jackfruit are preferred for
canning. The canned product is more attractive than the fresh pulp and
is sometimes called "vegetable meat". The ripe bulbs are mechanically
pulped to make jackfruit nectar or reduced to concentrate or powder.
The addition of synthetic flavoring—ethyl and n-butyl esters of
4-hydroxybutyric acid at 120 ppm and 100 ppm, respectively greatly
improves the flavor of the canned fruit and the nectar.
bulbs are boiled in milk, the latter when drained off and cooled will
congeal and form a pleasant, orange colored custard. By a method
patented in India, the ripe bulbs may be dried, fried in oil and salted
for eating like potato chips. Candied jackfruit pulp in boxes was being
marketed in Brazil in 1917. Improved methods of preserving and candying
jackfruit pulp have been devised at the Central Food Technological
Research Institute, Mysore, India. Ripe bulbs, sliced and packed in
sirup with added citric acid, and frozen, retain good color, flavor and
texture for one year. Canned jackfruit retains quality for 63 weeks at
room temperature—75° to 80°F (23.89°-26.67°C),
with only 3% loss of B-carotene. When frozen, the canned pulp keeps
well for 2 years.
In Malaya, where the odor of the ripe fruit is
not avoided, small jackfruits are cut in half, seeded, chilled, and
brought to the table filled with ice cream.
The ripe bulbs, fermented and then distilled, produce a potent liquor.
seeds, which appeal to all tastes, may be boiled or roasted and eaten,
or boiled and preserved in sirup like chestnuts. They have also been
successfully canned in brine, in curry, and, like baked beans, in
tomato sauce. They are often included in curried dishes. Roasted, dried
seeds are ground to make a flour which is blended with wheat flour for
Where large quantities of jackfruit are available, it is
worthwhile to utilize the inedible portion, and the rind has been found
to yield a fair jelly with citric acid. A pectin extract can be made
from the peel, undeveloped perianths and core, or just from the inner
rind; and this waste also yields a sirup used for tobacco curing.
Tender jackfruit leaves and young male flower clusters may be cooked and served as vegetables.
Food Value Per 100 g of Edible Portion
| Pulp (ripe-fresh) ||Seeds (fresh)||Seeds (dried)|
|Calories || 98 |
| Moisture ||72.0-77.2 g ||51.6-57.77 g |
|Protein||1.3-1.9 g|| 6.6 g|
|Fat ||0.1-0.3 g||0.4 g |
|Carbohydrates||18.9-25.4 g||38.4 g |
|Fiber ||1.0-1.1 g||1.5 g |
|Ash||0.8-1.0 g||1.25-1.50 g|| 2.96%|
|Calcium||22 mg||0.05-0.55 mg|| 0.13%|
|Phosphorus||38 mg||0.13-0.23 mg ||0.54%|
|Iron|| 0.5 mg||0.002-1.2 mg||0.005%|
|Sodium|| 2 mg |
|Potassium||407 mg |
|Vitamin A|| 540 I.U. |
|Thiamine||0.03 mg |
|Niacin||4 mg |
|Ascorbic Acid|| 8-10 mg|
The pulp constitutes 25-40% of the fruit's weight.
In general, fresh seeds are considered to be high in starch, low in calcium and iron; good sources of vitamins B1 and B2.
in India there is some resistance to the jackfruit, attributed to the
belief that overindulgence in it causes digestive ailments. Burkill
declares that it is the raw, unripe fruit that is astringent and
indigestible. The ripe fruit is somewhat laxative; if eaten in excess
it will cause diarrhea. Raw jackfruit seeds are indigestible due to the
presence of a powerful trypsin inhibitor. This element is destroyed by
boiling or baking.
In some areas, the jackfruit is fed to cattle. The tree is even planted
in pastures so that the animals can avail themselves of the fallen
fruits. Surplus jackfruit rind is considered a good stock food.
Young leaves are readily eaten by cattle and other livestock and are
said to be fattening. In India, the leaves are used as food wrappers in
cooking, and they are also fastened together for use as plates.
The latex serves as birdlime, alone or mixed with Ficus sap and oil
from Schleichera trijuga Willd. The heated latex is employed as a
household cement for mending chinaware and earthenware, and to caulk
boats and holes in buckets. The chemical constituents of the latex have
been reported by Tanchico and Magpanlay. It is not a substitue for
rubber but contains 82.6 to 86.4% resins which may have value in
varnishes. Its bacteriolytic activity is equal to that of papaya latex.
Jackwood is an important timber in Ceylon and, to a lesser extent, in
India; some is exported to Europe. It changes with age from orange or
yellow to brown or dark-red; is termite proof, fairly resistant to
fungal and bacterial decay, seasons without difficulty, resembles
mahogany and is superior to teak for furniture, construction, turnery,
masts, oars, implements, brush backs and musical instruments. Palaces
were built of jackwood in Bali and Macassar, and the limited supply was
once reserved for temples in Indochina. Its strength is 75 to 80% that
of teak. Though sharp tools are needed to achieve a smooth surface, it
polishes beautifully. Roots of old trees are greatly prized for carving
and picture framing. Dried branches are employed to produce fire by
friction in religious ceremonies in Malabar.
From the sawdust of
jackwood or chips of the heartwood, boiled with alum, there is derived
a rich yellow dye commonly used for dyeing silk and the cotton robes of
Buddhist priests. In Indonesia, splinters of the wood are put into the
bamboo tubes collecting coconut toddy in order to impart a yellow tone
to the sugar. Besides the yellow colorant, morin, the wood contains the
colorless cyanomaclurin and a new yellow coloring matter, artocarpin,
was reported by workers in Bombay in 1955. Six other flavonoids have
been isolated at the National Chemical Laboratory, Poona.
Bark: There is only 3.3% tannin in the bark which is occasionally made into cordage or cloth.
The Chinese consider jackfruit pulp and seeds tonic, cooling and
nutritious, and to be "useful in overcoming the influence of alcohol on
the system." The seed starch is given to relieve biliousness and the
roasted seeds are regarded as aphrodisiac. The ash of jackfruit leaves,
burned with corn and coconut shells, is used alone or mixed with
coconut oil to heal ulcers. The dried latex yields artostenone,
convertible to artosterone, a compound with marked androgenic action.
with vinegar, the latex promotes healing of abscesses, snakebite and
glandular swellings. The root is a remedy for skin diseases and asthma.
An extract of the root is taken in cases of fever and diarrhea. The
bark is made into poultices. Heated leaves are placed on wounds. The
wood has a sedative property; its pith is said to produce abortion.
The Champedak, A. integer Merr. (syns. A. champeden Spreng., A. polyphena Pers.), is also known as chempedak, cempedak, sempedak, temedak in Malaya; cham-pa-da in Thailand, tjampedak in Indonesia; lemasa in the Philippines. The wild form in Malaya is called bangkong or baroh.
The fruit is borne by a deciduous tree, reaching about 60 ft (18 m) in
cultivation, up to 100 or 150 ft (30-45.5 m) in the wild. It is easy to
distinguish from the jackfruit by the long, stiff, brown hairs on young
branchlets, leaves, buds and peduncles. The leaves, often 3-lobed when
young, are obovate oblong or elliptical when mature and 6 to 11 in
(15-28 cm) long. The male flower spikes are only 2 in (5 cm) long and
the fruit cylindrical or irregular, no more than 14 in (35.5 cm) long
and 6 in (15 cm) thick, mustard-yellow to golden-brown, reticulated,
warty, and highly odoriferous when ripe. In fact, it is described as
having the "strongest and richest smell of any fruit in creation." The
rind is thinner than that of the jackfruit and the seeds and
surrounding pulp can be extracted by cutting open the base and pulling
on the fruit stalk. The pulp is deep-yellow, tender, slimy, juicy and
sweet. That of the wild form is thin, subacid and odorless.
is native and common in the wild in Malaya up to an altitude of 4,200
ft (1,300 m) and is cultivated throughout Malaysia and by many
preferred to jackfruit. It is grown from seed or budded onto
self-seedlings or jackfruit or other Artocarpus species. Seedlings bear
in 5 years. The pulp is eaten with rice and the seeds are roasted and
eaten. The wood is strong and durable and yields yellow dye, and the
bark is rich in tannin.
The Lakoocha, A. lakoocha Roxb., is also known as monkey jack or lakuchi in India; tampang and other similar native names in Malaya; as lokhat
in Thailand. The tree is 20 to 30 ft (6-9 m) tall with deciduous,
large, leathery leaves, downy on the underside. Male and female flowers
are borne on the same tree, the former orange-yellow, the latter
reddish. The fruits are nearly round or irregular, 2 to 5 in (5-12.5
cm) wide, velvety, dull-yellow tinged with pink, with sweet sour pulp
which is occasionally eaten raw but mostly made into curries or
chutney. The male flower spike, acid and astringent, is pickled.
native of the humid sub-Himalayan region of India, up to 4,000 ft
(1,200 m), also Malaya and Ceylon, it is sometimes grown for shade or
for its fruit. Seedlings come into production in 5 years. A specimen
was planted at the Federal Experiment Station, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico,
in 1921. There was a large tree in Bermuda in 1918.
The wood, sold as lakuch,
is heavier than that of the jackfruit, similar to teak, durable
outdoors and under water, but does not polish well. It is used for
piles, and in construction; for boats, furniture and cabinetwork. The
bark contains 8.5% tannin and is chewed like betelnut. It yields a
fiber for cordage. The wood and roots yield a dye of richer color than
that obtained from the jackfruit. Both seeds and milky latex are
purgative. The bark is applied on skin ailments. The fruit is believed
to act as a tonic for the liver.
The Kwai Muk, possibly A. lingnanensis Merr., was introduced into Florida as A. hypargyraea Hance, or A. hypargyraeus
Hance ex Benth. The tree is a slow-growing, slender, erect ornamental
20 to 50 ft (6-15 m) tall, with much milky latex and evergreen leaves 2
to 5 in (5-12.5 cm) long. Tiny male and female flowers are yellowish
and borne on the same tree, the female in globular heads to 3/8 in (1
The fruits are more or less oblate and irregular, 1 to
2 in (2.5-5 cm) wide, with velvety, brownish, thin, tender skin and
replete with latex when unripe. When ripe, the pulp is orange-red or
red, soft, of agreeable subacid to acid flavor and may be seedless or
contain 1 to 7 small, pale seeds. The pulp is edible raw; can be
preserved in sirup or dried. Ripens from August to October in Florida.
tree is native from Kwangtung, China, to Hong Kong, and has been
introduced sparingly abroad. It was planted experimentally in Florida
in 1927 and was thriving in Puerto Rico in 1929. It grows at an
altitude of 500 ft (152 m) in China. Young trees are injured by brief
drops in temperature to 28° to 30°F (-2.22°-1.11°C).
Mature trees have endured 25° to 26°F (-3.89°-3.33°C)
in Homestead, Florida; have been killed by 20°F (-6.67°C) in
Last updated: 12/18/114 by ch