|Binomial name:||Artocarpus heterophyllus|
The jackfruit (alternately jakfruit, jack tree, or otherwise just jack or jack; Artocarpus heterophyllusis of the Artocarpus class, is a variety of trees that belongs to the group of mulberry. The fleshy part (the “bulb”) is edible as it is, or sliced and cooked. At the un-ripened stage (green) it has an exceptional similarity to the chicken texture, which enables you to have an outstanding vegetarian dish with jackfruit as a substitute for meat.
The exterior of this large fruit is thorny. The jackfruit resembles durian (despite the fact that it is normally bigger in size). When you split open a jackfruit, what you notice inside, is “bulbs” or pods, usually called seeds. As a matter of fact, these pods are a fleshy coating of the real pits or seeds that are dark in color, round and similar to chestnuts.
Southeast and South Asia are the regions where you find them, and the origin of the jackfruit is in the south-west rain forests of India, presently in the states of Maharashtra, coasts of Karnataka and Kerala. The jackfruit is a well-known food product that undergoes extensive cultivation in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, tropical areas in India, Vietnam, Nepal, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia. You also see jackfruit in Africa, (e.g. In Uganda, Madagascar, Cameroon, Mauritius and Tanzania), Caribbean nations like Jamaica and all over Brazil. Jackfruit is the National fruit of Bangladesh.
Growing at Home
Soil for Planting
The perfect soil for the jackfruit tree is a fast-draining and light potting soil. Fortified soils are ideal.
As jackfruit trees grow very fast, they need sufficient space to spread their branches, thus plant them in rows either centered at 18 feet or choose a place, keeping a clear distance of 18 feet away from other trees or shrubs for an individual jackfruit tree.
Jackfruit trees are tropical plants; as such, they must get enough and regular quantity of moisture. Throughout the year, even in winter, keep the moisture for them. If possible, keep up the growing conditions of the jackfruit as humid, bright and warm all through the year which is best for it.
Temperature and Humidity
The ideal condition for fruit production and growth is a place which is bright, with enough sunlight and a location exposed towards the South. Jackfruit trees favor direct and bright sunlight. Even though you can get better results from growing trees 30% under shade throughout the year, it is best to give them bright sunlight for 12 hours.
Flowering and Maturing
Fall and summer are the chief seasons for bearing fruit. Chances are there for certain fruits to ripen at odd times, but normally not in early spring and winter. The gap between flowering and fruit maturing is from 150 to 180 days.
Give them liquid fertilizer every week. Even though the jack fruit tree does not need much nutrition, young plants and seedlings grow well with a constant feed of fertilizers.
Pest and Pesticides
Aphids and mealy bugs are the pests likely to attack them. Disease due to virus and fungus very rarely attacks jackfruit. They are mostly prone to Physiological diseases, where the trees dry off and the shoots die. The reason for this is normally insufficient water, water logging and conditions of floods. While the fruits are in the development stage there are chances of fungal attack, a type of disease that decreases jackfruit’s production. You can control the spread this disease by enveloping the fruits prior to the attack of the fruit borers, by spraying fungicide like Vitigran blue and Perenox two times a week before the proper commencement of fruiting and by removing and burning the rotten flowers and fruits.
Harvest Month and Storage
Harvest the fruits 8 months after the flowering even if it is green (consider them same as breadfruit or plantains) or when fully ripe.
Jackfruit is belongs to the Artocarpus group, or also of a group similar to the breadfruit made popular by Captain Bligh. A. Heterophylla is the chief variety.
Having discovered a fondness for insects while pursuing her degree in Biology, Randi Jones was quite bugged to know that people usually dismissed these little creatures as “creepy-crawlies”.