Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Breadfruit
Artocarpus altilis

Family: Moraceae (mor-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Artocarpus (ar-toe-karp-us) (Info)
Species: altilis (al-TIL-iss) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

6 members have or want this plant for trade.

Edible Fruits and Nuts

over 40 ft. (12 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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There are a total of 20 photos.
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11 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Carlincool On Oct 13, 2013, Carlincool from Cape Coral, FL wrote:

I bought 3 of these. Ma'afala breadfruit. I also have air layed 6 with sucess and 6 more in the making. This species is a super fast growing, seedless tree that is being introduced to the Carribean, Africa and other tropical regions that have a malnutrition problem. This is being done by the national breadfruit institute. This species is very nutritional. It normally get no taller than 25' and has a more canopy growing habit.
The tree is one of the most beautiful trees I've ever seen with the leaf pattern. Only problem is it is ultra-tropical. Damage to leaves occurs at 48-50 degrees. It can handle down to low 40s when it gets older for short periods.

Positive siggisan On Jun 13, 2012, siggisan from the hague
Netherlands wrote:

the genus altilis includes ,the two types ,maybe male &
Female trees.thus the male tree bares fruit without
seeds(Kastanjas) The seeds of the "female "tree
is useless unles it ripes on the tree and falls down
the seeds are 2-3cm big.and taste exactly like the
european Casanea sativa fruit,wich you also have to
pick from the ground.
The First trees were importet to the west indies (where i
come from) from the polynesian islands (remember the
the muteney of the bounty) it has been one of the ships
that was transporting Artocarpus A. to the west indies.
The other Taxon is Artocarpus heterophylla i have allso
eaten allot ,its a bigger fruit stays green from the outside
it also has many big seeds wich you can also roast or cook
arroud the seeds the (mesocarp) a slimy very tasty "skin"
is beddet .there are at least 30-35 seeds in the A.hetero-
phylla fruit. the A.Altilis contains almost as much,but they
must ripe on the tree ,if not the seeds break when you
cook them ,or explode when you try to roast them
"don"t try this at home " I have not come across anyone
here who tried to grow them in this climate .
I hope the Artocarpus servives all human error
and climate changes.dont you?

Positive BettBi On Jun 1, 2012, BettBi from Pahoa, HI wrote:

These comments are encouraging. The Ma’afala breadfruit I planted 4 years ago hasn't fruited yet. I pinched off the leaf buds the first year or two, hoping to keep the tree from going straight up. This bushed it out but also produced some nearly horizontal lower branches. Two months ago we had unusually strong winds and one huge limb broke off, ripping a piece of the trunk all the way to the core. Amazingly the tree has since put on new growth and looks healthy other than its big gash. I keep hearing breadfruits are tough trees. Sure hope so, as I'm looking forward to having "squash" on a tree!

Positive prickersnall On May 28, 2012, prickersnall from Madison, WI wrote:

I had a wonderful experience with the breadfruit: My son, working in Hawaii for the winter, invited me over, and took me camping in the beautiful Waipio Valley. He spotted a breadfruit hanging high in one of the trees, managed to jump for it so we could try cooking it for our dinner, and brought it down. It was very heavy, and rock-hard.

Nearby, a big and strong native Hawaiian was also camping, and we asked for a trade of water to boil it, for half of the breadfruit. He told us," No, that's not how", and proceeded to place it whole, in his fire...also inviting us to join him and his lady-friend. While he roasted the breadfruit, we conversed, and were served...I think beer...and cooked wild fern fiddleheads, which tasted very like asparagus.

Meanwhile, our host took two foot-long, split log sections, and using them like tongs, gradually turned the breadfruit every so often so that all sides had rested against the fire, and finally he pronounced it done. I asked him, how do you know it's done ? He blew on the grasped in his huge "tongs", and it glowed red all over, like coals of a fire. Then, placing it on the ground, and taking his machete, two swift whacks split it in two, then 4 pieces. What do you put on it, I asked him, and with delight he cried, "Parkay !" We ate it up,...salted and smothered in margarine...there in the lovely Waipio Valley; It tasted similar to a baked potato. Finally, we offered our thanks for their friendly hospitality, and said goodnight.

It was one of my most favorite experiences there, a wonderful sharing moment, when I visited in Hawaii.

Positive blukila On May 28, 2012, blukila from Kamuela, HI wrote:

Aloha, here in Kona at an upper elevation along the
Mamalahoa Road the breadfruit trees are very common.
If you let the fruit ripen on the counter in your kitchen until it is very, very soft and then peel part of it and bake in 350 oven for 50 minutes or will have a very sweet pulp that is delicious.....It evidently sweetens and aquires more flavor if very ripe....
Also you can cut it in half when firm, remove the core,
cover each open half with foil and bake the same way.

Positive popper1 On May 28, 2012, popper1 from Lakeland, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

I have had two plants for about a year and a half. Been pretty easy for me, made it through the winter with no damage in a temp. "greenhouse" put up in the back yard. Starting to grow fast with the heat and lots of water/humidity.

Neutral FlKeysRedneck On Jun 2, 2010, FlKeysRedneck from Key Largo, FL wrote:

I love the Breadfruit tree. It's exotic leaves and large fruits lend an awesome addition to the tropical landscape. We had Breadfruit trees here until this past winter. It's a very tender ultra tropical I discovered. We had several large specimens growing here in Key Largo. In January 2010 we had a period of extended record cold here in the Fl Keys. Although no freezing temps were observed. 35 degrees was the lowest I found here in Key Largo. Two nights of middle 30's and twelve consecutive nights in the 40's proved fatal to all the Breadfruit trees here in Key Largo. As of last check this morning 6/2/10 no signs of regrowth even from the base is noted.

I noticed the leaves curled up and turned dark green the morning it dropped into the lower 40's. We just kept getting stronger and stronger cold fronts and It just kept getting colder and colder which proved fatal.
On January 3rd 2008 we had a record cold snap. One night it dropped to 38 degrees. The trees lost their leaves but regrew by spring. Winter of 2009 we had a morning of 40 degrees had some and the trees seemed unscathed but daytime temps climbed well into the 60's. This winter past we had extended periods where daytime temps never reached 60 degrees. It was just too much for the Breadfruits and I'm saddened.
It was the coldest here in many decades. Hopefully folk will grow Breadfruits again here.
I have read all the info on Breadfruit trees and 40 degrees seems to be their limit.
I am looking at going up to a place in Homestead Fl that sells exotic fruits. I hope I can locate some Bread fruits and plant the seeds. I will give whatever trees I successfully sprout away.

One thing to note. Breadfruits do very poorly in high winds. The branches break easily in hurricane/tropical storms. Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005 decimated the Breadfruit trees leaving mostly just large broken skeletons. The trees fully recovered the following summer as they are rapid growers.

Positive vnickdd On Dec 17, 2009, vnickdd from Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is one of the most interesting plants there is. The Breadfruit came from S.E. Asia and was distributed throughout Polynesia by the ancient Polynesians as they voyaged from island to island. But the weird thing is, certain varieties, like the ones in Hawaii, have NO SEEDS. In other places in Polynesia, they still do have seeds. The only method of propogation is via root cuttings which the Polynesians would take with them on their canoes. The HMS Bounty (as in Mutiny on the Bounty) was sent from England to Polynesia to collect Breadfruit to bring to Jamaica and the Carribean.

If anyone has the seedless variety, please let me know.

Positive The_Lorax On May 8, 2008, The_Lorax from Quito
Ecuador wrote:

Breadfruit are widely naturalized in Ecuador. Although eating the cooked fruit on its own is fairly bland, if it's cored out halfway through the cooking process and filled with coconut cream and curry, and often lumps of chicken, the flesh takes on the flavour of the sauce and becomes much more palatable.

I do not currently grow this tree, but have friends who do, and all of them really like it, both for the foliage and the fruits.

Neutral htop On Mar 7, 2008, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant. Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) after being introduced to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands has become naturalized.

Positive punaheledp On Jul 8, 2004, punaheledp from Kailua, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

Have twice had neighbors with these trees and think them very attractive with the large leaves as palmbob described. The leaf is a traditional and popular design in Hawaiian quilting. The fruit is nasty when it drops. Have had to clean up many a splatted fruit, but still like the tree. it is native to Malaysia.

Positive foodiesleuth On May 31, 2004, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

The tree has beautiful leaves. The fruit takes getting used to but it is no more unpleasant than eating a tuber (malanga, ñame, güagüi, taro, etc) without seasoning.....

I use the pulp to make a dough for a pizza with fruit toppings...nice!

I don't have one in our yard, but they are all around us, so getting fruit is not difficult. We call them ULU, here.......(u like in oo - lou)

Positive palmbob On May 30, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a very common tree in the tropics, used for food, medicine, construction (sap is sticky and useful) and as a landscape specimen. There are several varieties of this tree with fruit that has large seeds, to most commonly grown, the seedless variety. The fruits are very high in carbs and low in fats... and frankly take a bit of getting used to I think (not there yet). The tree is a very nice looking one with huge, deeply lobed bright green leaves, that turn an ornamental orange before falling off. It is planted all over Hawaii as a street tree because of its high ornamental appeal.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Cape Coral, Florida
Key Largo, Florida
Lakeland, Florida
Ainaloa, Hawaii
Captain Cook, Hawaii
Hawaiian Paradise Park, Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii (3 reports)
Honomu, Hawaii
Kailua, Hawaii
Kihei, Hawaii
Bayamon, Puerto Rico

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