Jackfruit: Artocarpus heterophyllus
The jackfruit tree is in the same family as breadfruit, fig, and mulberry. It typically grows 30 to 40 feet tall in south Florida, the fruit typically weighs between 10 and 30 pounds each. It has been grown in Florida since 1886. Care must be taken during winter in areas that are subject to freezing temperatures.
Propagation: Jackfruit is a monoecious species but with separate male and female flowers on the same tree. The male fruit is smaller and once it pollinates the female fruit it rapidly decays. Jackfruit may be propagated by seed, grafting, and cuttings. In some areas, seed propagation is still used. Jackfruit from seed may be more precocious than many other fruit, and trees may begin production in the 3rd to 4th year.
Climate: The jackfruit is well adapted to the hot humid tropics. Jackfruit grows well in the humid subtropical climate of south Florida along the coastal areas where there are only occasional freezes. Optimum growth and production occurs in continuously warm areas. Jackfruit leaves may be damaged at 32°F (0°C), branches at 30°F (-1°C), and branches and trees may be killed at 28°F (-2°C).
Credits and Sources:
Picture Credit: Ian Maguire, UF/IFAS TREC
Publication HS882 online at EDIS: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg370
To see the Jackfruit Trees that I grew from seed, scroll down to see the pictures of the progression from seed to three gallon potted young jackfruit trees. I sprouted them in the spring of 2017 to raise for the Santa Rosa County Master Gardener Oktoberfest Auction that will take place October 11 at 10am at my local extension office. I attended Master Gardener training in 2009 and I have been involved with the program since then. For more information on the program click on this link for the Santa Rosa County Florida Master Gardener Program
I grew the Jackfruit Trees from seed that I saved from a jackfruit that I bought at Bien Dong in Pensacola. Jackfruit is an amazing food! I enjoy the sweet fruit parts of the jackfruit as shown in this picture of the person cleaning a jackfruit.
I also make a shredded barbecue from the “meaty” part that some call pith. See the previous picture of the jackfruit that shows the “pith” that surrounds the sweet fruit part that contains the seeds. Once that pith is cooked it resembles in taste and texture the real meat barbecue but without the animal fat and cholesterol. Click on picture of BBQ Pulled Jackfruit to go to the website and see recipe. I also like to use Jackfruit in cooking Boston Baked Beans instead of salt pork, it is unbelievable mouthfeel of salt pork in the beans!
Jackfruit Tree grown from seed by Maggie Leiterman
Feel free to call with questions or comments 850-816-8674
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