Synonyms: Artocarpus integrifolius
Other names: Jack
The jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus), also known as jack tree, jakfruit, or sometimes simply jack or jak, is a species of tree in the fig, mulberry and breadfruit family (Moraceae).
It is native to parts of South and Southeast Asia and is believed to have originated in the southwestern rain forests of the Western Ghats in the Indian Subcontinent, in present-day Kerala, West Bengal, coastal Karnataka, and Maharashtra, but also Indonesia. The jackfruit tree is well suited to tropical lowlands, and its fruit is the largest tree-borne fruit, reaching as much as 35 kg (80 lb) in weight, 90 cm (35 in) in length, and 50 cm (20 in) in diameter. The jackfruit tree can produce about 100 to 200 fruits in a year. The jackfruit is a multiple fruit, composed of hundreds to thousands of individual flowers, and it is the fleshy petals that are eaten.
The jackfruit tree is a widely cultivated and popular food item throughout the tropical regions of the world. Jackfruit is the national fruit of Bangladesh, by name Kathal (কাঁঠাল) in the Bengali language, and by the same name it is very popular in Indian State of West Bengal.
Images: Forest Starr & Kim Starr, CC-BY Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0