Gerry McMahon, Senior Technical Officer, DPIFM Darwin
Name: Jackfruit Artocarpus heterophyllus (Moraceae).
Origin: Jackfruit is indigenous to South Western India. Believed to be from the rainforests of the Southern Ghats Mountains.
Distribution: Jackfruit was introduced into Malaysia, South East Asia and into East Africa by the Arabs. Now it is grown in most tropical lowland regions around the world.
Australian Distribution: Mostly tropical regions of north Queensland and around Darwin in the Northern Territory.
Preferred Climate and Soil Types: Jackfruit prefers a warm humid tropical climate, mostly lowland coastal areas below 1000 m, with more than 1500 mm rainfall, without a prominent dry season. It has poor cold, drought and flooding tolerance, but can tolerate moderate winds and salinity. Performs
best on deep well drained alluvial, sandy or clay loam soils with pH 6.0-7.5.
Description: Jackfruit is a medium size evergreen tree from 10-20 m, with deep green shiny leaves. They are monoecious and individual male and female flowers are very small and grouped into a tightly packed
Female flowers are found on short stalks on the trunk and older branches and even on exposed roots. Male flowers are found near the branch terminals.
The fruit are syncarps and are the largest of all cultivated fruits and can weigh up to 50 kg, and contain 100-500 seeds enclosed in a strong smelling, sweet edible flesh.
Varieties: Jackfruit is cross-pollinated and mostly seed propagated therefore much variation exists. Some commercial varieties have been selected in different areas, but generally two main types exist - soft flesh
and crisp flesh.
Culture: Not often grown as an orchard tree but more as a few trees with another fruit crop. Spacings generally 6-12 m, and seedling trees take 5-6 years to produce fruit. Seedlings are difficult to transplant having a long tap root that is easily damaged. Air layering, inarching, epicotyl grafting and bud grafting are methods of propagation that have varying degrees of success, depending on time of year and tree selection. At seedling and fruiting stage an application of a mixed fertiliser is beneficial.
Pests and Diseases: Some of the major pests and diseases include shoot borers, bark borers, mealy bugs and scale insects, blossom and fruit roots, pink disease and bacterial dieback can be a problem. Most of these do not cause economic damage to any great extent, and regular monitoring and
appropriate control measures will reduce any problems.
Harvesting: The fruit is mature when there is a change in colour, from pale green to brownish-yellow. The spines also flatten out and there is a characteristic odour.The stalk must be cut with a sharp knife and the fruit carefully lowered to the ground.
Storage Conditions: Jackfruit can be kept wrapped in polyethylene bags and stored at 12ºC for 20 days. Temperatures lower than this will cause chilling injury.
Culinary Use: Immature fruit can be cut up, used as a vegetable, pickled or canned in brine. Ripe fruit is eaten fresh or can be made into chutney, jam, jelly. It can also be preserved as candies by drying and mixing with sugar, honey or syrup. The pulp is used to flavour ice cream and beverages.
*Check out this great link for the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens for information on grafting and a video on pruning. Just remember it is an American video and the months mentioned do not relate to Australia. Prune during the hot, moist months for YOUR area.
Here's some excerpts from the website to whet your apetite:
The fruit bulbs are used in soups, main dishes, desserts, milk drinks, ice cream and fruit salads. In India it is preserved by boiling with sugar syrup, butter and coconut milk. The jackfruit bulbs freeze well and they may be used at a later time like fresh fruit. The fresh bulbs are excellent dried or preserved in syrup.
Immature fruits can be cut into segments, boiled and eaten like a vegetable. The seeds are good boiled and roasted. Ripe fruit can be chilled or mixed in a fruit salad. This is one of the most versatile fruits. Used immature as a vegetable, stuffed or sautéed mixed with any kind of meat or fresh served as a fruit. Use your palate as a guide when being creative; here are 2 recipes to get you started with the largest fruit in the world.
Add a Comment