Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) is a tropical tree which can grow to a height of 20 metres. They are grown for their fruits. When cooked, these fruits taste like freshly baked bread, hence its name Breadfruit, which are used to make many traditional dishes.It is very widely used in the Pacific Island region and believed that the plants are exported by the early Polynesian voyagers.
Not only the fruits are edible, other parts of the plants have its uses. The sap is used by the native Hawaiians to trap birds and the wood pulp can be processed into paper, also known as breadfruit tapa. Currently these plants can be found commonly in South East Asia.
The leaves are large and lobed and the fruits have tough skin with hexagon shapes, resembling another closely related tropical fruit, jackfruit. Both male and female flowers are found on the same tree and pollination is usually carried out by birds and bats.
The unique shape of the leaves and the wide range of uses of the entire plant makes it a very educational plant to grow in community gardens! It is not a fussy plant and can take many soil types. Do aware that it is a tree and ample space is needed!