Artocarpus altilis (Parkinson ex F.A.Zorn) Fosberg, J. Wash. Acad. Sci. 31: 95 1941

Latin for 'fat or fattened', referring to the fruit.

Artocarpus altilis var. non-seminiferus (Duss) Fournet
Artocarpus altilis var. seminiferus (Duss) Fournet
Artocarpus camansi Blanco
Artocarpus communis J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.
Artocarpus incisifolius Stokes [Illegitimate]
Artocarpus incisus (Thunb.) L.f.
Artocarpus incisus var. non-seminiferus Duss
Artocarpus incisus var. seminiferus Duss
Artocarpus laevis Hassk.
Artocarpus papuanus Diels [Illegitimate]
Artocarpus rima Blanco
Radermachia incisa Thunb. [Unplaced]
Saccus laevis Kuntze
Sitodium altile Parkinson ex F.A.Zorn

Mostly found as a small cultivated tree with deeply lobed, alternately placed, large leaves, often placed at the end of the branches only. The stipules are rather large. Fruits are growing along the branches and become about football size and shape, yellowish, with small or without spines, i.e. more or less smooth surface when mature. Most trees belong to the seedles cultivar.

Monoecious tree, up to 30 m tall, evergreen in the humid tropics, semi-deciduous in monsoon climates. Trunk straight, 5-8 m tall, 0.6-1.8 m in diameter, often buttressed; trunk of clonally propagated trees branched low; twigs spreading, very thick, with pronounced leaf and stipule scars and lenticels; buds 10-20 cm long, covered with big conical keeled stipules. Leaves alternate, ovate to elliptical in outline, 20-60(-90) cm x 20-40(-50) cm, undivided when young, older ones entire or deeply pinnately cut into 5-11-pointed lobes, thick, leathery, dark green and shiny above, pale green and rough below, petiole 3-5 cm long. Inflorescences axillary, peduncles 4-8 cm long; male ones drooping, club-shaped, 15-25 cm x 3-4 cm, spongy, yellow, flowers minute with single stamen; female ones stiffly upright, globose or cylindrical, 8-10 cm x 5-7 cm, green, flowers numerous, embedded in receptacle, calyx tubular, ovary 2-celled, style narrow, stigma 2-lobed. Fruit a syncarp formed from the entire inflorescence, cylindrical to globose, 10-30 cm in diameter, rind yellow-green, reticulately marked with 4-6-sided faces, sometimes bearing short spines; a large central core is surrounded by numerous abortive flowers which form a pale yellow juicy pulp, the edible portion of the fruit. Most cultivated breadfruits are seedless, seeded ones are known as breadnuts. Breadnuts bear fleshy prickles, the edible pulp is largely replaced by the seeds, which are brownish, rounded or flattened, 2.5 cm long. All parts of the tree are rich in white gummy latex. [from PROSEA]

Breadfruit is a species of the wet tropics, preferring a hot (temperature 20-40 degrees C) and humid (rainfall 2000-3000 mm, relative humidity 70-90 percent) climate. The latitudinal limits are approximately 17 degrees N and S; the maritime climate of small islands allows growth to 20-23 degrees N. Rain apparently stimulates extension growth, flowering and the rate of growth of the fruit. The tree is occasionally found in the highlands (even up to 1500 m) and at higher latitudes, but yield and fruit quality suffer in cooler conditions and the tree is more at home in the equatorial lowlands (below 600 m). Young trees grow better under shade but later full sun is required. Tree growth is best in deep, well-drained, moist alluvial soils rich in humus. The trees also grow on shallow coralline soils of the atolls, and in New Guinea they are found at the forest edge in floodplains and swamps. Whereas the trees shed their leaves under dry conditions, it is said that they shed their fruit when the soil is excessively wet; so yield may be depressed on marginal soils. Apparently cultivars differ greatly in their tolerance of adverse conditions; there are cultivars that cope well with shallow calcareous soils, brackish water and salt sprays, annual rainfall of only 1500 or 1000 mm, etc. [from PROSEA]

Immature as well as ripe fruits and seeds are eaten after boiling, baking, roasting or frying. The fruit may be cooked whole or after cutting it; thin slices are also fried. A kind of biscuit is made by slicing the ripe cooked fruit and drying in the sun or in an oven; thus prepared it can be kept until the next fruiting season. On many Pacific islands breadfruit is preserved in pits or by burying (Samoa). The stored fruit ferments and is converted into a nutritious but disagreeably smelling cheese-like paste, which is made into cakes and baked. Commercial processing is limited to preserving the boiled cut fruit in brine. In the Philippines, the mature seedless fruit is boiled and eaten with sugar and grated coconut or coated with sugar and dehydrated; immature seeded fruit is cooked as a vegetable with coconut milk. Leaves and fallen fruits make good animal feed. The male flower spikes are blended with fibre of paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera (L.) Ventenat) to make elegant loincloths. The smooth, grey bark is fibrous and was once a source of the native cloth 'tapa'. The milky sap is used to caulk canoes, as a glue to catch birds and as a chewing gum. Diluted with rain water, the latex from the trunk is used as a remedy for diarrhoea. In Trinidad and the Bahamas a leaf decoction is believed to lower blood pressure and to relieve asthma. Chewed young leaves are said to counteract food poisoning. The light yet quite firm, nicely grained wood is used to make canoes, surfboards, toys, boxes and crates; it can also be used in light construction work. Breadfruit trees are planted as windbreaks and sometimes as shade trees for coffee. [from PROSEA]

The exact origin of breadfruit is uncertain. The centre of genetic diversity extends from Indonesia to Papua New Guinea. In a broad sense, it is a native of the Pacific and tropical Asia. It has long been an important staple food in Polynesia. Breadfruit is now widely distributed throughout the humid tropics.

Local names
Cambodia: sakee, khnaor samloo.
English: Breadfruit.
French: Arbre ид pain.
Indonesia: sukun (seedless); kelur, timbul (seeded).
Malaysia: sukun (seedless), kelor (seeded).
Papua New Guinea: kapiak (Pidgin).
Philippines: rimas (seedless), kamansi (seeded). Thailand: sa-ke (seedless), khanun-sampalor (central).
Vietnam: sake.