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Bromeliaceae Ananas comosus (L.) Merr.

Source: Magness et al. 1971

Pineapple plants are herbaceous with long, stiff sword-shaped leaves with rough edges. The central stalk, at the terminal of which the single fruit is borne, attains a heighth of 2 to 4 feet. Commercial varieties are seedless and are usually propagated by suckers which develop near the base or terminal of the fruiting stalk. The fruit is composed of the thickened rachis or stalk, in which the numerous fleshy fruitlets, botanically berries, are imbedded. The fleshy, persistent bracts make the surface of the composite fruit greatly roughened and tough. Plants are tender to frost. They blossom 12 to 14 months after setting, and fruit matures about 6 months later. Time of blossoming, can be controlled in part by use of hormone chemicals. Fruits are large, 2 to 6 pounds or more.

Season, bloom to maturity: About 6 months.

Production in U.S.: About 1,000,000 tons.

Use: Mostly canned and juice, some fresh.

Part of fruit consumed: Tender inner flesh, after removal of rough surface and tough fibrous central cylinder. Residue from processing is used as livestock feed.

Last update February 18, 1999 by ch