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Artocarpus heterophylus seeds, Jackfruit

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Artocarpus heterophylus seeds, Jackfruit
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Artocarpus heterophylus, Jackfruit seeds

 

Artocarpus heterophlyus belongs to the family of the Moracae, the mulberry family. A. heterophylus is native to India. The plant is better known as jackfruit, jack tree or just simple jack. The jack tree grows, as one can already suggest from the name, as a tree. The tree gets up to 20 m high and has a big tree top. The treetop is already quite big when the tree is still small. That gives the plant a shrubby look in the younger years. The leaves of the jackfruit are simple, ovate and get 15 cm long and 7 cm wide. They are leathery, with a short petiole. The young leaves are light green getting darker with the time. The jack is monoecious meaning that there are male and female flowers that are on the same individual. The flowers are greenish and are clustered in inflorescences. The fruit sits directly at the trunk (cauliflory). This unusual cauliflory has a simple reason: The fruits are large and heavy. The branches would just break under the weight. The fruit can have a weight of 40 kg and it can get 70 cm long. However the fruits are quite different in size and weight. Some say that the jackfruit is the biggest fruit hanging at a tree. The skin of the fruit has many nubs and is green to orange. One can eat the jackfruit in several ways. They can be eaten as chips or just with ice cream in summer. Even the seeds can be eaten cooked or roasted. They are sweetish. Small mammals also like the seeds. The seeds get distributed in that way. In many recipients the jack is cooked together with coconut milk. The jackfruit is very healthy containing a lot of vitamin C. The unripe jackfruit tastes a little bit like meat. It is an alternative for vegetarians. They put in on the sandwich instead of using real meat. Meat eaters also like this alternative. The wood is used to build music instruments.

 

Cultivation

The seeds of the jackfruit do not need any pretreatment. They can be put directly into the substrate. At a tropical temperature of about 28°C and constantly moist substrate, germination occurs after 1 to 3 weeks. The jackfruit is not winter hardy and prefers a constantly warm place. The jackfruit is also not resistant to drought. One has to remember to water the plant regularly.

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