Bredfrut is a widely distributed pantropical species and is cultivated on most Pacific Islands. It prefers to grow in climates with summer rains.
Bredfrut has spreading evergreen canopy and generally growing 12-15 m in height, but can reach up over 21 m. The trunk can be large, up to 2 m in diameter. All parts of the tree contain a white milky latex.
Vanuatu is an important centre for diversity in breadfruit. Over 30 different cultivars are found in northern Vanuatu, potentially up to 100.
Leaves are alternate, broadly obovate to ovate. The leaf blade is generally smooth, glossy, dark green with green or yellow-green veins and a few to many white to reddish-white hairs on the midrib and veins. The underside of the leaves is light green and matt.
Male flowers appear first and are club-shaped, up to 5 cm in diameter and 45 cm long. Thousands of tiny flowers are attached to a central, spongy core. Female inflorescence is 1500-2000 reduced green flowers attached to a spongy core. The flowers fuse together to form a fleshy edible fruit.
The fruits are variable in shape, size, and surface texture, although they are usually round, oval or oblong and range from 9-20 cm wide and more than 30 cm long. Skin texture varies from smooth to slightly bumpy or spiny. Fruit colour is light green, yellowish-green or yellow when mature. The flesh of the fruit is creamy white or pale yellow and contains none to many seeds, depending on the variety. Seeded varieties are more common in Vanuatu.
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