Breadfruit Tree | Description, Types, Benefits, and Facts

bread fruit tree

Information About Breadfruit Tree

The breadfruit is one of the most important plants brought to Hawaii by ancient voyaging Polynesians. This beautiful tree played an essential role in the colonization of the Pacific and was an important staple food. Hundreds of years before western contact with Hawaii, this fruit tree, called ulu, was a large part of ancient Hawaiians’ cultural and spiritual life. They are important sources of handicraft materials, wood, and medicine. Unfortunately, today there are few of these trees left in Hawaii compared to the old days.

The breadfruit grows to about 26 m high and has large, thick, deeply indented leaves. The entire tree, when cut, produces a milky sap called latex, which is helpful for a variety of things, including waterproofing boats. Trees have male and female flowers that grow on the same tree. The male flowers appear first, followed by the female flowers, which pollinate a few days later.

5 Amazing Facts about Breadfruit Tree

Facts about Breadfruit Tree

1. Breadfruit trees are one of the most productive food crops known. A single tree can produce anywhere from 50 to 150 fruits per year (yield varies between wet and dry areas).

2. Its round, oval, or oblong fruits can weigh up to 12 pounds.

3. Breadfruit trees can reach a height of 25m.

4. All parts of the tree produce a latex sap which is helpful as a sealant such as for sealing canoes.

5. In addition, its light, strong wood was used for canoe outriggers and house building.

6 Amazing Benefits of the Breadfruit Tree

1. Leaves
Breadfruit Tree Leaves

The leaves of the breadfruit are popular with pets. In India, cattle and goats are fed; in Guam, cattle, horses, and pigs. Unfortunately, horses can also eat the bark of young trees, so new plantings must be protected.

2. Latex
Breadfruit Tree Latex

Breadfruit latex has been used as birdlime on the ends of posts to catch birds. The early Hawaiians plucked the feathers from their ceremonial robes, then used candlenut oil, Aleurites moluccana wild., Or sugar cane juice to remove the gummy substance from the birds’ feet release them. After boiling with coconut oil, the latex is used to seal boats and mixed with colored earth used as boat paint.

3. Wood
Breadfruit Tree Wood

The wood is yellowish or yellowish-gray with dark spots or orange spots; Light; not very hard, but strong, elastic, and termite resistant and is used for construction and furnishing. The Samoan variety ‘Aveloloa’ wood with deeply incised leaves is most preferred for house construction. In Guam and Puerto Rico, wood is used for interior walls.

4. Fiber

The fiber in the bark is difficult to extract but very strong. Malaysians made clothes out of it. The ribbon is made from the inner bark of seedlings and branches. In the Philippines, they are made into harnesses for water buffalo.

5. Flowers
Breadfruit Tree Flowers

The ear of the male flower was once mixed with the fibers of the paper mulberry, Broussonetia papyrifera Vent. to make elegant loincloths. Once completely dry, the flower spines also serve as tinder.

6. Medical Uses
  • In Trinidad and the Bahamas, a decoction of breadfruit leaves is believed to lower blood pressure and relieve asthma. In addition, crushed leaves are applied to the tongue to treat yeast infections. 
  • The juice of the leaves is used as an ear drop. The ashes from the burned leaves are used for skin infections. A powder made from roasted leaves is used as a remedy for an enlarged spleen. 
  • The crushed fruits are put as an envelope over the tumors to “ripen” them. Finally, the roasted flowers are rubbed onto the gums around a sore tooth. 
  • The latex is used for skin diseases and bandaged over the spine to relieve sciatica. The diluted latex is taken internally to help overcome diarrhea.

Top 5 Types of the Breadfruit Trees

1. Travel

This variety produces large fruits, 8 to 12 inches (10 to 30 cm) long with yellow to green rind. The skin is sharp, but these sharp points fall off as the fruit ripens. The taste of the yellow pulp is considered one of the best, and the pulp doesn’t take long to cook. It is a type of seed.

2. Havana

The Havana variety has a sweet and desirable taste, but the fruit is perishable. They cook quickly and are among the most sought-after breadfruits. Havana is a type of seed.

3. Maohi

It is the most common type of breadfruit tree that grows in Tahiti. It produces around the fruit that is smaller than the other varieties and a large amount of fruit. Its taste is good, and the texture is smooth, and it cooks slowly.

4. Paea

This variety produces large fruits up to 28 cm long that are planted. The pulp is a bright yellow color, and it takes about an hour to cook over even heat. The pulp crumbles when cooked and tastes good.

5. Pucro

It is highly regarded and considered one of the best fruits in bread. It produces a rough-textured, greenish-yellow fruit with a delicate yellow pulp. It cooks quickly and has one of the best tastes around.

The breadfruit tree is a fast-growing tree. Here we’ve explained all of the breadfruit benefits and uses. The seeds and fruits of the breadfruit are eaten as food. Medicines are made from roots, leaves, and latex. Comment below if you have ever seen breadfruit trees.

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