from Agroforestree Database:a tree reference and selection guide version 4.0
by Orwa C, A Mutua, Kindt R, Jamnadass R, S Anthony
Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.
Local Names: Bengali (kanthal);
Burmese (khnaôr,peignai); English (jacquir,jackfruit,jack tree);
Filipino (nancas,langka); French (jacquier); German
(nangka,nongko); Javanese (nangka,nongko); Khmer (khnaôr); Lao
(Sino- Tibetan) (miiz hnang,miiz); Luganda (Yakobo,kifenensi); Malay
(tajaka,nangka); Mandinka (jak); Sanskrit (panasa); Sinhala (kos);
Spanish (pan de fruta,jacueiro,buen pan,rima,jaca); Swahili
(mfenesi,mfenesi mfuu); Tamil (pilla,pilapalam,pilavu); Thai
(makmi,khanun,nangka,banun); Vietnamese (mít)
reaches 8-25 m in height; straight stemmed, branching near the base at
an angle of 32-88 deg; canopy dense, dome shaped or rarely pyramidal;
diameter varies with age, in 5-year-old trees it ranges from 3.5 to 6.7
m; trunk rarely buttressed, with a girth of 30-80 cm and a
circumference of 42-96 cm; bark greyish-brown, rough, uneven, somewhat
scaly; inner bark thick, ochre; all parts smooth, having either no
hairs or minute, white hairs up to 0.5 mm long with tips easily broken,
giving twigs and leaves a slightly rough feel; trees produce a long
taproot; when injured, all living parts of the tree exude a copious,
white gummy latex.
Leaves 4-25 x 2-12 cm, coriaceous, glossy,
usually glabrous; top dark green, underside pale green; may be flat,
wrinkled or with upcurled sides; arranged alternately on horizontal
branches, and spirally on ascending branches with 2/5 phyllotaxis;
broadest at or above the mid-portion; pinnately nerved, with 5-12 pairs
of veins; those on flower-bearing branches obovate or oblong, those on
young shoots oblong, narrow; entire when mature, 2 or 3 lobed when
young; apex blunt, short and pointed; base cuneate or pointed; midrib
and main veins greenish-white to pale greenish-yellow; at the nodes,
stipules fused around stem, leaving an encircling scar after they fall
Individual flowers borne on an elongated axis and forming a
racemoid inflorescence; male spikes produced singly, elongated,
whitish-green or dark green with smooth skin, becoming yellowish and
rough when mature, oblong, cylindrical, clavate, ellipsoidal or barrel
shaped, distal end with a 1.5-2.5 mm wide annular ring, 3-10 x 1-5 cm,
slightly hairy. Hanging or drooping peduncle 1.5-3.5 cm long and 4-5 mm
thick, many densely crowded sterile or fertile flowers; sterile flower
has a solid perianth and the fertile one is tubular and bi-lobed.
Female spikes either solitary or paired, oblong or cylindrical with
rough, light to dark green skin, 5-15 cm, peduncle 8-9 mm thick; base
with 3-4 mm wide and green annulus.
A multiple fruit consisting
of several achenes (syncarp), each of which is indehiscent and
1-seeded, cauliflorus, 20-100 x 15-50 cm, the entire fruit weighing
4.5-50 kg; oval, oblong or ellipsoid, pale or dark green when young,
greenish-yellow, yellow or brownish when mature; peduncle green, 2-10
cm long, 1-3.5 cm thick, covered by a rubbery rind and hard pyramidal,
pointed or blunt spines. Inside are the fruitlets, which are the true
fruits, 4-11 x 2-4 cm, 6-53g, composed of fleshy aril and the seed;
aril waxy, firm or soft, yellow, golden yellow to yellow-orange, sweet,
aromatic, 2-6.5 x 0.1-0.7 mm, 5-42 g. Fruits contain more than 500 firm
or waxy seeds, oval-oblong or oblong-ellipsoid, thickened at the hilum,
flattened in a plane parallel with the sagittal, 2-4.5 x 1-3.7 cm,
The generic name comes from the Greek words
‘artos’ (bread) and ‘karpos’ (fruit); the
fruits are eaten and are commonly called breadfruit. The specific name,
‘heterophyllus’, is Latin for various leaved, or with
leaves of different sizes and shapes; it is from the Greek word
problem with the cherimoya is inadequate natural pollination because
the male and female structures of each flower do not mature
simultaneously. Few insects visit the flowers. Therefore,
hand-pollination is highly desirable and must be done in a 6-8 hour
period when the stigmas are white and sticky.
start flowering and fruiting 2-8 years after planting. Flower and
fruitloads are initially low and improve with increasing size and age;
trees 2 years old produce about 25 flowers and 3 fruits; trees 5 years
old bear as many as 840 flowers, and trees 6 years old 1500 flowers.
However, only 15-18 fruits develop due to the low production of female
spikes (about 0.6- 5% of the total number of inflorescences). Young
trees bear more male than female flowers at a ratio of 4:1; production
of female flower increases with age. A male-to-female ratio of 2:1
produces 250 fruits per tree, and as the trees ages, fruit productivity
In suitable environments trees bear fruits and flowers
throughout the year, but in areas with distinct dry and wet seasons,
flowering occurs in the wet season. In young trees, fruits are usually
borne on branches and in older trees, on trunks and roots.
tree is wind and insect pollinated. Insects normally visit the scented
male flowers, which release pollen that is carried to female flowers by
the wind. Wilting and drying stigmas are the best indicators of fruit
set. Fruits mature in 80-160 days, and a sweet and strong aroma
indicates that the fruit is ripe.
grows in tropical, near tropical and subtropical regions. The species
extends into much drier and cooler climates than do other Artocarpus
species. It can also withstand lower temperatures and frost; it bears
fruit at latitudes up to 30 deg. north and south, with good crops at 25
deg. north and south. The tree will not tolerate drought or flooding,
and for optimum production it requires a warm, humid climate and evenly
Altitude: 0-1600 m, Mean annual temperature: 16-22 deg. C, Mean annual rainfall: 1000-2400 mm
Documented Species Distribution
Native: Bangladesh, India, Malaysia
Algeria, Angola, Australia, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso,
Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China,
Comoros, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti,
Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia,
Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia,
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania,
Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria,
Philippines, Rwanda, Sao Tome et Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra
Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Surinam, Swaziland,
Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
The map above shows countries where the species has been planted.
It does neither suggest that the species can be planted in every
ecological zone within that country, nor that the species can not be
planted in other countries than those depicted. Since some tree species
are invasive, you need to follow biosafety procedures that apply to
your planting site.
The pulp of young fruit is cooked as a vegetable, pickled or canned in
brine or curry. Pulp of ripe fruit is eaten fresh or made into various
local delicacies (e.g., ‘dodol’ and ‘kolak’ in
Java), chutney, jam, jelly and paste, or preserved as candy by drying
or mixing with sugar, honey or syrup. The pulp is also used to flavour
ice cream and beverages, or reduced to a concentrate or powder and used
for preparing drinks. Addition of synthetic flavours such as esters of
4- hydroxybutyric acid greatly improves the flavour of the canned fruit
and nectar. The seeds, rich in vitamin A, sulphur, calcium and
phosphorus, are eaten after boiling or roasting, dried and salted as
table nuts, or ground to make flour that is blended with wheat flour
for baking. Male spikes left to rot on trees are used as a salad or
are cropped in India for fodder, and overripe, immature or fallen
fruits are fed to hogs and cattle. Elephants eat the bark, leaves and
fruits. Fibre: The inner part of the bark or bast is occasionally made
into cordage or cloth.
Wood is yellow at first, becoming red, with a specific gravity of
0.6-0.7. It is classified as medium hardwood. It is resistant to
termite attack and fungal and bacterial decay and is easy to season. It
takes polish beautifully. Though not as strong as teak, A. heterophyllus wood is considered superior to teak (Teclona grandis)
for furniture, construction, turnery and inlay work, masts, oars,
implements and musical instruments. The wood is widely used in India
and Sri Lanka and is even exported to Europe. Roots are highly prized
for carvings and picture framing.
Gum or resin:
The latex yields 71.8% resin, consisting of 63.3% fluavilles (yellow)
and 8.5% albanes (white). These resins may be valuable in varnishes
Latex or rubber:
The latex is commonly used as adhesive for mending broken chinaware or
earthenware, caulking boats, mending holes of buckets and trapping
birds. In India and Brazil, the latex serves as a substitute for rubber.
Tannin or dyestuff:
The bark gives a dark, water-soluble resinous gum that contains 3.3%
tannin. When boiled with alum, the sawdust or chips of the heartwood
produce a rich yellow dye used for silk and the cotton robes of
Alcohol: Arils can be fermented and distilled to produce an alcoholic beverage.
Ashes of leaves, with or without oil, are used in Malaysia and
Philippines to treat ulcers, diarrhoea, boils, stomach-ache and wounds.
Pulp and seeds of the fruit are regarded as a cooling tonic. Seeds are
said to be an aphrodisiac. The sap is an anti-syphilitic and a
vermifuge. Wood is claimed to have sedative properties, and its pith is
said to be able to induce abortion. A root decoction is used to
alleviate fever, treat diarrhoea, skin diseases and asthma. The
bacteriolytic activity of A. heterophyllus
latex is equal to that of papaya latex. Dried latex yields artotenone,
a compound with marked androgenic action; it can also be mixed with
vinegar to promote healing of abscesses, snakebite and glandular
A. heterophyllus can be planted to control floods and soil erosion in
farms. Shade or shelter: Trees planted at a close spacing act as a
windbreak and are sometimes used as shade for coffee.
Boundary or barrier or support: The trunk is occasionally used as living support for pepper.
In the Philippines, A. heterophyllus is planted with coconut groves. In
Malaysia, trees have been used as an intercrop in durian orchards, and
in India the trees are intercropped with mango and citrus. Young A. heterophyllus orchards may be intercropped with annual cash crops such as banana, sweet corn and groundnut.
preparation depends on the scale of production and the condition of the
land; it should be cleared of all growth before digging holes (60-80 x
40-50 cm) for planting. Trees should eventually be thinned to a spacing
of 7.5-12 m, and lack of thinning may lead to die-back. Hardly any
pruning is required. Dead branches should be removed from the interior
of the tree so that sufficient light is obtained for the developing
fruit and to check the spread of pests. Both interrow and circle
weeding are employed to keep down weeds; mulching may also be used to
suppress weeds and conserve soil moisture. Fungicide is sprayed to
protect trees from diseases. A. heterophyllus exhibits fairly rapid
growth, attaining a height of 3 m and a canopy diameter of 2 m at 2
years of age. In 5 years, the tree height reaches 7 m and the canopy
diameter 4 m; trees 20 years old are about 18 m, as tree growth slows
down with age. It is good practice to water trees during the dry
season, but the soil at the base of the plant should be raised, and
drainage pathways need to be constructed to avoid waterlogging. It is
recommended that fertilizer be applied twice yearly -- at the onset and
the end of the rainy season.
storage behaviour is recalcitrant. Viability is maintained for 2 years
in moist storage at 15 deg. C, seeds kept in polythene bags filled with
perlite at 6 deg. C. There are about 430 seeds/kg.
Pests and Diseases
large number of insects belonging to the Aphididae, Ateyrodidae,
Cercophidae, Coccidae and Fulgoridae families feed on the sap. Insect
pests affecting the tree include Anomala spp., Batocera rubus, Dacus umbrosus, Daphania caesalis, Ferrisisa virgata, Leucopholis irrorata, Melicodes spp., Melicodes
tenebrosa, Nasutitermes luzonicus, Nipaecoccus filamentosus, Phytorus
lineolatus, Planococcus lilacinus, Pulvinaria psidii and Thosea sinensis.
Several fungi attack different parts of the tree. Organisms that cause disease include Cercospora artocapi, Chanephora cucurbitarum, Fusarium spp., Nectria cinnabarina, Pellicularia salmonicolor, Phomopsis artocapina and Rhizophus nigricans.
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