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Morton, J. 1987. Jackfruit. p. 58–64. In: Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL.


Artocarpus heterophyllus

The jackfruit, Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam. (syns. A. integrifolius Auct. NOT L. f.; A integrifolia L. f.; A. integra Merr.; Rademachia integra Thunb. ), of the family Moraceae, is also called jak-fruit, jak, jaca, and, in Malaysia and the Philippines, nangka; in Thailand, khanun; in Cambodia, khnor; in Laos, mak mi or may mi; in Vietnam, mit. It is an excellent example of a food prized in some areas of the world and allowed to go to waste in others. O.W. Barrett wrote in 1928: ";The jaks . . . are such large and interesting fruits and the trees so well-behaved that it is difficult to explain the general lack of knowledge concerning them.";

A heavily fruiting jackfruit
Fig. 15: A heavily fruiting jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) on the grounds of the old Hobson estate, Coconut Grove. Miami, Eila.

Plate 6: JACKFRUIT, Artocarpus heterophyllus

The tree is handsome and stately, 30 to 70 ft (9-21 m) tall, with evergreen, alternate, glossy, somewhat leathery leaves to 9 in (22.5 cm) long, oval on mature wood, sometimes oblong or deeply lobed on young shoots. All parts contain a sticky, white latex. Short, stout flowering twigs emerge from the trunk and large branches, or even from the soil-covered base of very old trees. The tree is monoecious: tiny male flowers are borne in oblong clusters 2 to 4 in (5-10 cm) in length; the female flower clusters are elliptic or rounded. Largest of all tree-borne fruits, the jackfruit may be 8 in to 3 ft (20-90 cm) long and 6 to 20 in (15-50 cm) wide, and the weight ranges from 10 to 60 or even as much as 110 lbs (4.5-20 or 50 kg). The "rind' or exterior of the compound or aggregate fruit is green or yellow when ripe and composed of numerous hard, cone-like points attached to a thick and rubbery, pale yellow or whitish wall. The interior consists of large "bulbs" (fully developed perianths) of yellow, banana-flavored flesh, massed among narrow ribbons of thin, tough undeveloped perianths (or perigones), and a central, pithy core. Each bulb encloses a smooth, oval, light-brown "seed" (endocarp) covered by a thin white membrane (exocarp). The seed is 3/4 to 1 1/2 in (2-4 cm) long and 1/2 to 3/4 in (1.25-2 cm) thick and is white and crisp within. There may be 100 or up to 500 seeds in a single fruit. When fully ripe, the unopened jackfruit emits a strong disagreeable odor, resembling that of decayed onions, while the pulp of the opened fruit smells of pineapple and banana.

Origin and Distribution

No one knows the jackfruit's place of origin but it is believed indigenous to the rainforests of the Western Ghats. It is cultivated at low elevations throughout India, Burma, Ceylon, southern China, Malaya, and the East Indies. It is common in the Philippines, both cultivated and naturalized. It is grown to a limited extent in Queensland and Mauritius. In Africa, it is often planted in Kenya, Uganda and former Zanzibar. Though planted in Hawaii prior to 1888, it is still rare there and in other Pactfic islands, as it is in most of tropical America and the West Indies. It was introduced into northern Brazil in the mid-19th Century and is more popular there and in Surinam than elsewhere in the New World.

In 1782, plants from a captured French ship destined for Martinique were taken to Jamaica where the tree is now common, and about 100 years later, the jackfruit made its appearance in Florida, presumably imported by the Reasoner's Nursery from Ceylon. The United States Department of Agriculture's Report on the Conditions of Tropical and Semitropical Fruits in the United States in 1887 states: "There are but few specimens in the State. Mr. Bidwell, at Orlando, has a healthy young tree, which was killed back to the ground, however, by the freeze of 1886. " There are today less than a dozen bearing jackfruit trees in South Florida and these are valued mainly as curiosities. Many seeds have been planted over the years but few seedlings have survived, though the jackfruit is hardier than its close relative, the breadfruit (q.v.).

In South India, the jackfruit is a popular food ranking next to the mango and banana in total annual production. There are more than 100,000 trees in backyards and grown for shade in betelnut, coffee, pepper and cardamom plantations. The total area planted to jackfruit in all India is calculated at 14,826 acres (26,000 ha). Government horticulturists promote the planting of jackfruit trees along highways, waterways and railroads to add to the country's food supply.

There are over 11,000 acres (4,452 ha) planted to jack fruit in Ceylon, mainly for timber, with the fruit a much-appreciated by-product. The tree is commonly cultivated throughout Thailand for its fruit. Away from the Far East, the jackfruit has never gained the acceptance accorded the breadfruit (except in settlements of people of East Indian origin). This is due largely to the odor of the ripe fruit and to traditional preference for the breadfruit.


In South India, jackfruits are classified as of two general types: 1) Koozha chakka, the fruits of which have small, fibrous, soft, mushy, but very sweet carpels; 2) Koozha pazham, more important commercially, with crisp carpers of high quality known as Varika. These types are apparently known in different areas by other names such as Barka, or Berka (soft, sweet and broken open with the hands), and Kapa or Kapiya (crisp and cut open with a knife). The equivalent types are known as Kha-nun nang (firm; best) and Kha-nun lamoud (soft) in Thailand; and as Vela (soft) and Varaka, or Waraka (firm) in Ceylon. The Peniwaraka, or honey jak, has sweet pulp, and some have claimed it the best of all. The Kuruwaraka has small, rounded fruits. Dr. David Fairchild, writing of the honey jak in Ceylon, describes the rind as dark-green in contrast to the golden yellow pulp when cut open for eating, but the fruits of his own tree in Coconut Grove and those of the Matheson tree which he maintained were honey jaks are definitely yellow when ripe. The Vela type predominates in the West Indies.

Firminger described two types: the Khuja (green, hard and smooth, with juicy pulp and small seeds); the Ghila (rough, soft, with thin pulp, not very juicy, and large seeds). Dutta says Khujja, or Karcha, has pale-brown or occcasionally pale-green rind, and pulp as hard as an apple; Ghila, or Ghula, is usually light-green, occasionally brownish, and has soft pulp, sweet or acidulously sweet. He describes 8 varieties, only one with a name. This is Hazari; similar to Rudrakshi; which has a relatively smooth rind and flesh of inferior quality.

The 'Singapore', or 'Ceylon', jack, a remarkably early bearer producing fruit in 18 months to 2 1/2 years from transplanting, was introduced into India from Ceylon and planted extensively in 1949. The fruit is of medium size with small, fibrous carpers which are very sweet. In addition to the summer crop (June and July), there is a second crop from October to December. In 1961, the Horticultural Research Institute at Saharanpur, India, reported the acquisition of air-layered plants of the excellent varieties, 'Safeda', 'Khaja', 'Bhusila', 'Bhadaiyan' and 'Handia' and others. The Fruit Experimental Station at Burliar, established a collection of 54 jackfruit clones from all producing countries, and ultimately selected 'T Nagar Jack' as the best in quality and yield. The Fruit Experimental Station at Kallar, began breeding work in 1952 with a view to developing short, compact, many-branched trees, precocious and productive, bearing large, yellow, high quality fruits, 1/2 in the main season, 1/2 late. 'Singapore Jack' was chosen as the female parent because of its early and late crops; and, as the male parent, 'Velipala', a local selection from the forest having large fruits with large carpers of superior quality, and borne regularly in the main summer season. After 25 years of testing, one hybrid was rated as outstanding for precocity, fruit size, off-season as well as main season production, and yield excelling its parents. It had not been named when reported on by Chellappan and Roche in 1982. In Assam, nurserymen have given names such as 'Mammoth', 'Everbearer', and 'Rose-scented' to preferred types.


Horticulturists in Madras have found that hand-pollination produces fruits with more of the fully developed bulbs than does normal wind-pollination.


The jackfruit is adapted only to humid tropical and near-tropical climates. It is sensitive to frost in its early life and cannot tolerate drought. If rainfall is deficient, the tree must be irrigated. In India, it thrives in the Himalayan foothills and from sea-level to an altitude of 5,000 ft (1,500 m) in the south. It is stated that jackfruits grown above 4,000 ft (1,200 m) are of poor quality and usable only for cooking. The tree ascends to about 800 ft (244 m) in Kwangtung, China.


The jackfruit tree flourishes in rich, deep soil of medium or open texture, sometimes on deep gravelly or laterite soil. It will grow, but more slowly and not as tall in shallow limestone. In India, they say that the tree grows tall and thin on sand, short and thick on stony land. It cannot tolerate "wet feet". If the roots touch water, the tree will not bear fruit or may die.


Propagation is usually by seeds which can be kept no longer than a month before planting. Germination requires 3 to 8 weeks but is expedited by soaking seeds in water for 24 hours. Soaking in a 10% solution of gibberellic acid results in 100% germination. The seeds may be sown in situ or may be nursery-germinated and moved when no more than 4 leaves have appeared. A more advanced seedling, with its long and delicate tap root, is very difficult to transplant successfully. Budding and grafting attempts have often been unsuccessful, though Ochse considers the modified Forkert method of budding feasible. Either jackfruit or champedak (q.v.) seedlings may serve as rootstocks and the grafting may be done at any time of year. Inarching has been practiced and advocated but presents the same problem of transplanting after separation from the scion parent. To avoid this and yet achieve consistently early bearing of fruits of known quality, air-layers produced with the aid of growth promoting hormones are being distributed in India. In Florida cuttings of young wood have been rooted under mist. At Calcutta University, cuttings have been successfully rooted only with forced and etiolated shoots treated with indole butyric acid (preferably at 5,000 mg/l) and kept under mist. Tissue culture experiments have been conducted at the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bangalore.


Soaking one-month-old seedlings in a gibberellic acid solution (25-200 ppm) enhances shoot growth. Gibberellic acid spray and paste increase root growth. In plantations, the trees are set 30 to 40 ft (9-12 m) apart. Young plantings require protection from sunscald and from grazing animals, hares, deer, etc. Seeds in the field may be eaten by rats. Firminger describes the quaint practice of raising a young seedling in a 3 to 4 ft (0.9-1.2 m) bamboo tube, then bending over and coiling the pliant stem beneath the soil, with only the tip showing. In 5 years, such a plant is said to produce large and fine fruits on the spiral underground. In Travancore, the whole fruit is buried, the many seedlings which spring up are bound together with straw and they gradually fuse into one tree which bears in 6 to 7 years. Seedlings may ordinarily take 4 to 14 years to come into bearing, though certain precocious cultivars may begin to bear in 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 years. The jackfruit is a fairly rapid grower, reaching 58 ft (17.5 m) in height and 28 in (70 cm) around the trunk in 20 years in Ceylon. It is said to live as long as 100 years. However, productivity declines with age. In Thailand, it is recommended that alternate rows be planted every 10 years so that 20-year-old trees may be routinely removed from the plantation and replaced by a new generation. Little attention has been given to the tree's fertilizer requirements. Severe symptoms of manganese deficiency have been observed in India.

After harvesting, the fruiting twigs may be cut back to the trunk or branch to induce flowering the next season. In the Cachar district of Assam, production of female flowers is said to be stimulated by slashing the tree with a hatchet, the shoots emerging from the wounds; and branches are lopped every 3 to 4 years to maintain fruitfulness. On the other hand, studies at the University of Kalyani, West Bengal, showed that neither scoring nor pruning of shoots increases fruit set and that ringing enhances fruit set only the first year, production declining in the second year.


In Asia, jackfruits ripen principally from March to June, April to September, orJune to August, depending on the climatic region, with some off-season crops from September to December, or a few fruits at other times of the year. In the West Indies, I have seen many ripening in June; in Florida, the season is late summer and fall.

white, gummy latex flows from the jackfruit stalk when an underripe fruit is harvested.
Fig. 16: Much white, gummy latex flows from the jackfruit stalk when the slightly underripe fruit is harvested.


Fruits mature 3 to 8 months from flowering. In Jamaica, an "X" is sometimes cut in the apex of the fruit to speed ripening and improve flavor.


In India, a good yield is 150 large fruits per tree annually, though some trees bear as many as 250 and a fully mature tree may produce 500, these probably of medium or small size.


Jackfruits turn brown and deteriorate quickly after ripening. Cold storage trials indicate that ripe fruits can be kept for 3 to 6 weeks at 52° to 55°F (11.11°-12.78°C) and relative humidity of 85 to 95%.

Pests and Diseases

Principal insect pests in India are the shoot-borer caterpillar, Diaphania caesalis; mealybugs. Nipaecoccus viridis, Pseudococcus corymbatus, and Ferrisia virgata, the spittle bug, Cosmoscarta relata, and jack scale, Ceroplastes rubina. The most destructive and widespread bark borers are Indarbela tetraonis and Batocera rufomaculata. Other major pests are the stem and fruit borer, Margaronia caecalis, and the brown bud-weevil, Ochyromera artocarpio. In southern China, the larvae of the longicorn beetles, including Apriona germarri; Pterolophia discalis, Xenolea tomenlosa asiatica, and Olenecamptus bilobus seriously damage the fruit stem. The caterpillar of the leaf webbers, Perina nuda and Diaphania bivitralis, is a minor problem, as are aphids, Greenidea artocarpi and Toxoptera aurantii; and thrips, Pseudodendrothrips dwivarna.

Diseases of importance include pink disease, Pelliculana (Corticium) salmonicolor, stem rot, fruit rot and male inflorescence rot caused by Rhizopus artocarpi; and leafspot due to Phomopsis artocarpina, Colletotrichum lagenarium, Septoria artocarpi, and other fungi. Gray blight, Pestalotia elasticola, charcoal rot, Ustilana zonata, collar rot, Rosellinia arcuata, and rust, Uredo artocarpi, occur on jackfruit in some regions.

The fruits may be covered with paper sacks when very young to protect them from pests and diseases. Burkill says the bags encourage ants to swarm over the fruit and guard it from its enemies.

Dried slices of peeled unripe jackfruit
Fig. 17: Dried slices of peeled unripe jackfruit are commonly marketed in Southeast Asia

Jackfruit seeds
Fig 18: Jackfruit seeds, salvaged from the ripe fruits, are sold for boiling or roasting like chestnuts.
Food Uses

Westerners generally will find the jackfruit most acceptable in the full-grown but unripe stage, when it has no objectionable odor and excels cooked green breadfruit and plantain. The fruit at this time is simply cut into large chunks for cooking, the only handicap being its copious gummy latex which accumulates on the knife and the hands unless they are first rubbed with salad oil. The chunks are boiled in lightly salted water until tender, when the really delicious flesh is cut from the rind and served as a vegetable, including the seeds which, if thoroughly cooked, are mealy and agreeable. The latex clinging to the pot may be removed by rubbing with oil. The flesh of the unripe fruit has been experimentally canned in brine or with curry. It may also be dried and kept in tins for a year. Cross sections of dried, unripe jackfruit are sold in native markets in Thailand. Tender young fruits may be pickled with or without spices.

If the jackfruit is allowed to ripen, the bulbs and seeds may be extracted outdoors; or, if indoors, the odorous residue should be removed from the kitchen at once. The bulbs may then be enjoyed raw or cooked (with coconut milk or otherwise); or made into ice cream, chutney, jam, jelly, paste, "leather" or papad, or canned in sirup made with sugar or honey with citric acid added. The crisp types of jackfruit are preferred for canning. The canned product is more attractive than the fresh pulp and is sometimes called "vegetable meat". The ripe bulbs are mechanically pulped to make jackfruit nectar or reduced to concentrate or powder. The addition of synthetic flavoring—ethyl and n-butyl esters of 4-hydroxybutyric acid at 120 ppm and 100 ppm, respectively greatly improves the flavor of the canned fruit and the nectar.

If the bulbs are boiled in milk, the latter when drained off and cooled will congeal and form a pleasant, orange colored custard. By a method patented in India, the ripe bulbs may be dried, fried in oil and salted for eating like potato chips. Candied jackfruit pulp in boxes was being marketed in Brazil in 1917. Improved methods of preserving and candying jackfruit pulp have been devised at the Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, India. Ripe bulbs, sliced and packed in sirup with added citric acid, and frozen, retain good color, flavor and texture for one year. Canned jackfruit retains quality for 63 weeks at room temperature—75° to 80°F (23.89°-26.67°C), with only 3% loss of B-carotene. When frozen, the canned pulp keeps well for 2 years.

In Malaya, where the odor of the ripe fruit is not avoided, small jackfruits are cut in half, seeded, chilled, and brought to the table filled with ice cream.

The ripe bulbs, fermented and then distilled, produce a potent liquor.

The seeds, which appeal to all tastes, may be boiled or roasted and eaten, or boiled and preserved in sirup like chestnuts. They have also been successfully canned in brine, in curry, and, like baked beans, in tomato sauce. They are often included in curried dishes. Roasted, dried seeds are ground to make a flour which is blended with wheat flour for baking.

Where large quantities of jackfruit are available, it is worthwhile to utilize the inedible portion, and the rind has been found to yield a fair jelly with citric acid. A pectin extract can be made from the peel, undeveloped perianths and core, or just from the inner rind; and this waste also yields a sirup used for tobacco curing.

Tender jackfruit leaves and young male flower clusters may be cooked and served as vegetables.

Food Value Per 100 g of Edible Portion

Pulp (ripe-fresh) Seeds (fresh) Seeds (dried)
Calories 98
Moisture 72.0-77.2 g 51.6-57.77 g
Protein 1.3-1.9 g 6.6 g
Fat 0.1-0.3 g 0.4 g
Carbohydrates 18.9-25.4 g 38.4 g
Fiber 1.0-1.1 g 1.5 g
Ash 0.8-1.0 g 1.25-1.50 g 2.96%
Calcium 22 mg 0.05-0.55 mg 0.13%
Phosphorus 38 mg 0.13-0.23 mg 0.54%
Iron 0.5 mg 0.002-1.2 mg 0.005%
Sodium 2 mg
Potassium 407 mg
Vitamin A 540 I.U.
Thiamine 0.03 mg
Niacin 4 mg
Ascorbic Acid 8-10 mg

The pulp constitutes 25-40% of the fruit's weight.

In general, fresh seeds are considered to be high in starch, low in calcium and iron; good sources of vitamins B1 and B2.


Even in India there is some resistance to the jackfruit, attributed to the belief that overindulgence in it causes digestive ailments. Burkill declares that it is the raw, unripe fruit that is astringent and indigestible. The ripe fruit is somewhat laxative; if eaten in excess it will cause diarrhea. Raw jackfruit seeds are indigestible due to the presence of a powerful trypsin inhibitor. This element is destroyed by boiling or baking.

Other Uses

Fruit: In some areas, the jackfruit is fed to cattle. The tree is even planted in pastures so that the animals can avail themselves of the fallen fruits. Surplus jackfruit rind is considered a good stock food.

Leaves: Young leaves are readily eaten by cattle and other livestock and are said to be fattening. In India, the leaves are used as food wrappers in cooking, and they are also fastened together for use as plates.

Latex: The latex serves as birdlime, alone or mixed with Ficus sap and oil from Schleichera trijuga Willd. The heated latex is employed as a household cement for mending chinaware and earthenware, and to caulk boats and holes in buckets. The chemical constituents of the latex have been reported by Tanchico and Magpanlay. It is not a substitue for rubber but contains 82.6 to 86.4% resins which may have value in varnishes. Its bacteriolytic activity is equal to that of papaya latex.

Wood: Jackwood is an important timber in Ceylon and, to a lesser extent, in India; some is exported to Europe. It changes with age from orange or yellow to brown or dark-red; is termite proof, fairly resistant to fungal and bacterial decay, seasons without difficulty, resembles mahogany and is superior to teak for furniture, construction, turnery, masts, oars, implements, brush backs and musical instruments. Palaces were built of jackwood in Bali and Macassar, and the limited supply was once reserved for temples in Indochina. Its strength is 75 to 80% that of teak. Though sharp tools are needed to achieve a smooth surface, it polishes beautifully. Roots of old trees are greatly prized for carving and picture framing. Dried branches are employed to produce fire by friction in religious ceremonies in Malabar.

From the sawdust of jackwood or chips of the heartwood, boiled with alum, there is derived a rich yellow dye commonly used for dyeing silk and the cotton robes of Buddhist priests. In Indonesia, splinters of the wood are put into the bamboo tubes collecting coconut toddy in order to impart a yellow tone to the sugar. Besides the yellow colorant, morin, the wood contains the colorless cyanomaclurin and a new yellow coloring matter, artocarpin, was reported by workers in Bombay in 1955. Six other flavonoids have been isolated at the National Chemical Laboratory, Poona.

Bark: There is only 3.3% tannin in the bark which is occasionally made into cordage or cloth.

Medicinal Uses: The Chinese consider jackfruit pulp and seeds tonic, cooling and nutritious, and to be "useful in overcoming the influence of alcohol on the system." The seed starch is given to relieve biliousness and the roasted seeds are regarded as aphrodisiac. The ash of jackfruit leaves, burned with corn and coconut shells, is used alone or mixed with coconut oil to heal ulcers. The dried latex yields artostenone, convertible to artosterone, a compound with marked androgenic action. Mixed with vinegar, the latex promotes healing of abscesses, snakebite and glandular swellings. The root is a remedy for skin diseases and asthma. An extract of the root is taken in cases of fever and diarrhea. The bark is made into poultices. Heated leaves are placed on wounds. The wood has a sedative property; its pith is said to produce abortion.

Related Species

The Champedak, A. integer Merr. (syns. A. champeden Spreng., A. polyphena Pers.), is also known as chempedak, cempedak, sempedak, temedak in Malaya; cham-pa-da in Thailand, tjampedak in Indonesia; lemasa in the Philippines. The wild form in Malaya is called bangkong or baroh. The fruit is borne by a deciduous tree, reaching about 60 ft (18 m) in cultivation, up to 100 or 150 ft (30-45.5 m) in the wild. It is easy to distinguish from the jackfruit by the long, stiff, brown hairs on young branchlets, leaves, buds and peduncles. The leaves, often 3-lobed when young, are obovate oblong or elliptical when mature and 6 to 11 in (15-28 cm) long. The male flower spikes are only 2 in (5 cm) long and the fruit cylindrical or irregular, no more than 14 in (35.5 cm) long and 6 in (15 cm) thick, mustard-yellow to golden-brown, reticulated, warty, and highly odoriferous when ripe. In fact, it is described as having the "strongest and richest smell of any fruit in creation." The rind is thinner than that of the jackfruit and the seeds and surrounding pulp can be extracted by cutting open the base and pulling on the fruit stalk. The pulp is deep-yellow, tender, slimy, juicy and sweet. That of the wild form is thin, subacid and odorless.

The tree is native and common in the wild in Malaya up to an altitude of 4,200 ft (1,300 m) and is cultivated throughout Malaysia and by many preferred to jackfruit. It is grown from seed or budded onto self-seedlings or jackfruit or other Artocarpus species. Seedlings bear in 5 years. The pulp is eaten with rice and the seeds are roasted and eaten. The wood is strong and durable and yields yellow dye, and the bark is rich in tannin.

The Lakoocha, A. lakoocha Roxb., is also known as monkey jack or lakuchi in India; tampang and other similar native names in Malaya; as lokhat in Thailand. The tree is 20 to 30 ft (6-9 m) tall with deciduous, large, leathery leaves, downy on the underside. Male and female flowers are borne on the same tree, the former orange-yellow, the latter reddish. The fruits are nearly round or irregular, 2 to 5 in (5-12.5 cm) wide, velvety, dull-yellow tinged with pink, with sweet sour pulp which is occasionally eaten raw but mostly made into curries or chutney. The male flower spike, acid and astringent, is pickled.

A native of the humid sub-Himalayan region of India, up to 4,000 ft (1,200 m), also Malaya and Ceylon, it is sometimes grown for shade or for its fruit. Seedlings come into production in 5 years. A specimen was planted at the Federal Experiment Station, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, in 1921. There was a large tree in Bermuda in 1918.

The wood, sold as lakuch, is heavier than that of the jackfruit, similar to teak, durable outdoors and under water, but does not polish well. It is used for piles, and in construction; for boats, furniture and cabinetwork. The bark contains 8.5% tannin and is chewed like betelnut. It yields a fiber for cordage. The wood and roots yield a dye of richer color than that obtained from the jackfruit. Both seeds and milky latex are purgative. The bark is applied on skin ailments. The fruit is believed to act as a tonic for the liver.

The Kwai Muk, possibly A. lingnanensis Merr., was introduced into Florida as A. hypargyraea Hance, or A. hypargyraeus Hance ex Benth. The tree is a slow-growing, slender, erect ornamental 20 to 50 ft (6-15 m) tall, with much milky latex and evergreen leaves 2 to 5 in (5-12.5 cm) long. Tiny male and female flowers are yellowish and borne on the same tree, the female in globular heads to 3/8 in (1 cm) long.

The fruits are more or less oblate and irregular, 1 to 2 in (2.5-5 cm) wide, with velvety, brownish, thin, tender skin and replete with latex when unripe. When ripe, the pulp is orange-red or red, soft, of agreeable subacid to acid flavor and may be seedless or contain 1 to 7 small, pale seeds. The pulp is edible raw; can be preserved in sirup or dried. Ripens from August to October in Florida.

The tree is native from Kwangtung, China, to Hong Kong, and has been introduced sparingly abroad. It was planted experimentally in Florida in 1927 and was thriving in Puerto Rico in 1929. It grows at an altitude of 500 ft (152 m) in China. Young trees are injured by brief drops in temperature to 28° to 30°F (-2.22°-1.11°C). Mature trees have endured 25° to 26°F (-3.89°-3.33°C) in Homestead, Florida; have been killed by 20°F (-6.67°C) in central Florida.