Breadfruit can grow up to twenty-five meters (eighty-two feet).Breadfruit is classified in the Moraceae (fig) family. The scientific name of breadfruit comes from Greek: artos is bread and karpos is fruit. Very early breadfruit is very sweet, and the starch converts into sugar. Breadfruit has a lumpy green skin and a potato-like texture. The fruit is rich in vitamins and has carbohydrate and protein in it. The fruit can also be ground up into flour. One breadfruit, provides enough carbohydrate for a meal of five people. A breadfruit can weigh around seven pounds (three kilograms.)
The trees are monoecious, with male and female flowers growing on the same tree. The male flowers emerge first, followed shortly afterward by the female flowers, which grow into capitula, which are capable of pollination just three days later. The compound, false fruit develops from the swollen perianth, and originates from 1,500-2,000 flowers. These are visible on the skin of the fruit as hexagon-like disks.
Breadfruit is one of the highest-yielding food plants, with a single tree producing up to 200 or more grapefruit-sized fruits per season, and only requires very limited care. In the South Pacific, the trees yield 50 to 150 fruits per year. In southern India, normal production is 150 to 200 fruits annually. Productivity varies between wet and dry areas. In the Caribbean, a conservative estimate is 25 fruits per tree. Studies in Barbados indicate a reasonable potential of 16 to 32 tons per hectare (6.7-13.4 tons/acre). The ovoid fruit has a rough surface, and each fruit is divided into many achenes, each achene surrounded by a fleshy perianth and growing on a fleshy receptacle. Most selectively bred cultivars have seedless fruit.
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