Jackfruit, Artocarpus heterophylla is identified as the most versatile fruit known to man. Aside from being the largest tree borne fruit (commonly found up to 100 pounds) it is useful and valuable at every stage, from flower to mature fruit. In fact, more uses are being found all the time. The large, stately tree can produce 2-300 pounds of fruit per year, with season varying by variety, but like most tropical fruits, peaking in the summer months.
Jackfruit is enjoyed in many forms. A single jackfruit can yield hundreds of the small, yellow, fruit lobes (or bulbs) — each of which contain a highly nutritious seed. The fruit itself is a good source of Vitamin C, while the seeds are rich in protein, potassium, calcium, and iron. It can be harvested immature and cooked like a vegetable in a myriad of ways. In parts of Southeast Asia, jackfruit is served in dozens of ways. Jackfruit curry, stir fry, juice, chips, ice cream, and even baking flour — made from drying and grinding the seeds or fruit — are just a few examples of jackfruit’s remarkable versatility in the kitchen.
Here in South Florida, Jackfruit grows easily with little care once mature. Be sure to leave enough room for this tree though, as it is only suitable for areas with enough space to accommodate a large tree. Here at the Fruit and Spice Park, we have an extensive collection of Jackfruit. This is core to our mission of introducing and evaluating ethnobotanically important trees and plants to the South Florida landscape for the betterment of homeowners and commercial growers alike. Visitors to the park can see Jackfruit trees, and thousands of others, in their mature producing stages, sample fruit in season, and do all of this in a peaceful, idyllic setting in the Redland agricultural area of South Miami-Dade County.