Jackfruit is a large tree that reaches a height of 30 meters; larger than mango, breadfruit, etc. It grows best in tropical humid, rainy climates but hardly survives in cold and frosty conditions.
It is believed to be native to the Southwestern rain-forest of Southern India. Today, it is widely cultivated in the tropical regions of the Indian subcontinent, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brazil for its fruit, seeds, and wood.
|Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus).||Big jackfruit tree.|
In a season, each tree bears as many as 250 large fruits, it should the largest fruit bearing tree in the world. The fruit varies greatly, weighing from 3 to 30 kg, and has an oblong or round shape, measuring 10 cm to 60 cm long, 25 to 75 cm wide. While the unripe fruits are green, they turn dark brown and emit a sweet, fruity aroma when ripe.
As in durian fruitthe outer surface of the jackfruit is also covered with blunt spikes that become soft as the fruit ripens.
Its interior consists of striking orange-yellow colored edible bulbs. Each bulb consists of a sweet flesh (sheath) enclosed in a smooth, oval, light brown seed. There may be as many as 50 to 500 edible bulbs embedded in a single fruit suspended between thin bands of fibers.
The jackfruit seed is encased in a thin, transparent outer covering. It is mainly composed of starch and protein. The seed is about 2 to 4 cm long, and 1 to 3 cm thick.
Almost all parts of the tree exude a white sticky latex-like milk (juice) when wounded.