Monday, 23 April 2012

Artocarpus heterophyllus

Artocarpus heterophyllus, more commonly known as the Jackfruit or Nangka plant, is native to a region stretching from India to the Malay Peninsula.

It is a large tree often reaching 20 m in nature. The smooth brownish-grey trunk is very straight. Its oval leaves have blunt tips and is shiny dark green on top. The flowers are small (2-3cm) with male and female flowers and they grow in separate clusters. Male flowers are borne in oblong clusters 2 to 4 in (5-10 cm) in length; the female flower clusters are elliptic or rounded.

The fruits are huge (30cm-1m long), and can weigh up to 36kg. All parts of the plant exude white sticky latex. The sticky latex makes it a challenge to cut the fruit as the knife gets gummed up quite quickly. This can be prevented by rubbing vegetable oil on the hands and knife before handling the fruit.

The flesh of the fruits can be eaten fresh, candied, salted as pickles or sun dried as chips. The starchy seeds are sometimes boiled and eaten. The timber is highly valued for house building especially in areas where teak does not grow, and is also used for making musical instruments and furniture.
Look out for the Artocarpus heterophyllus at the hilltop of Macritchie Reservoir Park next to the vacant building.


(Artocarpus herterophyllus found on the hilltop of MacRitchie Reservoir Park)

(The fruit which is also known as Jackfruit)

(The oval leaves that is shiny dark green on top)

(The straight smooth brownish grey trunk)

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