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Tropical Fruit–Jackfruit

Tropical Fruit at a Glance–Jackfruit
by Jeff Wasielewski, Laura Vasquez and Jonathan H. Crane

The jackfruit is the largest tree borne fruit in the world.

Common name: Jackfruit

Botanical name: Artocarpus heterophyllus

Family: Moraceae

Worthwhile varieties: NS1, J-31, J-30, Gold Nugget

About the fruit: Jackfruit is the largest tree borne fruit in the world and can weigh between 10 and 60 pounds. The fruit is eaten fresh and has recently been used as a vegan pork substitute.

Season: Main season is July through October.

Why you should consider it: The tree is handsome and readily produces fruit along the trunk and main limbs. The wood is light and has been used for many products including furniture.

Be aware: It is difficult to remove the flesh from the fruit as the fruit contains a large amount of latex. It may also be difficult to know when the fruit is mature and ready to pick. Look for a slight color change and a flattening of the spines on the skin of the fruit.

Pruning: The jackfruit takes very well to pruning and can be kept at 15 feet through annual selective pruning. Remove strong verticals and encourage lateral growth.

Planting: Make sure not to plant too deep. Dig the hole bigger than the container but refill the hole with the native soil so the plant’s first flare root is at or just above ground level. Protect the tree from mechanical damage (string trimmers and mowers).

Fertilizer: Use an 8-3-9 or something similar two to three times during the rainy season (May to October). Drench with chelated iron (EDDHA) and use a micro-element foliar spray two to three times from May to October.

For more information see: Jackfruit growing in the Florida home landscape and the Tropical Fruit Tuesdays webinar on Jackfruit.