The jackfruit, also known as jack tree, is a species of tree in the fig, mulberry, and breadfruit family. Its origin is in the region between the Western Ghats of southern India, all of Sri Lanka and the rainforests of the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The scientific name of jack fruit is Artocarpus heterophyllus.
The jack tree is well-suited to tropical lowlands, and is widely cultivated throughout tropical regions of the world. It bears the largest fruit of all trees. The jackfruit is the national fruit of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and the state fruit of the Indian states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Table of Contents
50 - 70 feet
20 - 50 feet
6.0 - 7.5
Varieties of Jackfruit Tree
There are several varieties of jackfruit available, including:
Black Gold Jackfruit
The black gold jackfruit is one of the most popular types of jackfruit available on the market. It is grown in Australia. This type of jackfruit is usually around 15 pounds and has a hide that is a deep green color. The hide has spikes on it. The inside of the black gold is soft and deep orange flesh with a sweet smell.
The cheena jackfruit is a hybrid jackfruit that is a combination of jackfruit and a chempedak. This jackfruit is not as large as others. It usually weighs about five pounds. The cheena is a light green with blunt spikes on the outside.
The cochin jackfruit originated in Australia and is the smallest jackfruit weighing about three pounds. This jackfruit is round so that it stands out. Unlike most jackfruit varieties, a significant portion of the inside of this jackfruit can be eaten. This jackfruit is said to have a large edible flesh percentage. It has soft flesh with a mild taste and large seeds, all of which can be eaten.
Dang Rasimi Jackfruit
The dang rasimi jackfruit is a vigorously fast-growing variety of jackfruit. It originated in Thailand and comes in around 17 pounds. It has a large amount of flavor. The flesh of this jackfruit is a deep orange. It has a smell and flavor that is mildly sweet and similar to mango.
Golden Nugget Jackfruit
The golden nugget jackfruit is round, small, and yellow and weighs about seven pounds. It has flesh that is dark orange with a medium amount of firmness. When the golden nugget is a ripe jackfruit, it may be smooth like butter.
Golden Pillow Jackfruit
The golden pillow jackfruit is a Thai variety of jackfruit. It is a green color with blunt spikes. The gold pillow jackfruit has a large, round, and uniform shape that weighs anywhere from eight to twelve pounds. The inside of the golden pillow has crunchy flesh. Despite the crunch, it has the same sweetness you expect from jackfruit.
Honey Gold Jackfruit
The honey gold jackfruit is found in Australia. The honey gold is a small to medium-sized fruit that is about 10 to 12 pounds. It is a dark yellow to orange color. It has a firm texture and a strong aroma that is sweet and rich.
Kun Wi Chan Jackfruit
The Kun Wi Chan jackfruit originated in Thailand. The fruit is large, between 33 and 40 pounds, and has a round, uniform shape. It has a yellow color with a moderate firm to soft texture. It has a flavor that is mild and pleasant. It is not considered the best tasting of all the jackfruits.
Lemon Gold Jackfruit
The lemon gold jackfruit originates in Australia. It produces a fruit that is small to medium and around 13 pounds. This jackfruit is yellow with a trim texture.
Chompa Gob jackfruit trees grow in Singapore, and are blocky rather than rounded. They grow to a medium size and weigh between 12 and 20 pounds. They’re moderately fragrant, and their bright orange flesh is fairly firm and sweet.
This Indonesian cultivar is medium-large, weighing an average of 20–24 lbs. Its skin is yellowish-green with irregular, blunt spines, and its inner flesh is very pale yellow in color. The fruits tend to be misshapen, so they’re rather lumpy and oddly shaped rather than uniformly round or oblong.
This enormous jackfruit variety is native to the Dakshina Kannada region in Karnataka, India. The enormous, rounded fruits grow up to 80 lbs, with greenish-yellow skin and flattened spines. Since the pale interior flesh isn’t particularly flavorful, it’s used to make papadums, chips, and other savory snacks. This variety is also ideal as a vegan meat substitute.
Mankale Red jackfruit comes from the Mankale region in Karnataka, India. Its skin is dark, almost olive green in hue, and its inner flesh is bright red. It’s this interior hue that gave this variety its name. Each fruit weighs between 22 and 44 pounds, and its flesh is extraordinarily sweet when ripe. Additionally, the flesh stays crispy when ripe, unlike other varieties that go squishy instead.
Red-fleshed jackfruit only grows in Karnataka, India. Pathamuttam Red is a smaller cousin to Mankale jackfruit, usually weighing in at only 5–8 lbs. Like Mankale Red, it has vibrant, almost ruby-red flesh that gets beautifully sweet when fully ripe. The skins are quite thin, and the spines flatten out as the fruits ripen, which happens between May and July.
This is another variety from Karnataka, as you may have gleaned from the fact that it has “red” in its name. Interestingly, this variety has also been grown successfully in Goa. The fruits are medium-sized (around 20 pounds), with yellow-green skins and sweet, crunchy, bright orange flesh. They’re fully ripe in June, but you can harvest in May for underripe, savory use.
Janagere Yellow jackfruit grows in Goa and Kerala and yields medium-sized fruits. These weigh 18-20 lbs, with yellow-beige skins and bright yellow flesh. As you can guess, these golden hues are what gave this variety its name. Harvest in June or July for optimal ripeness.
The fruits were naturalized there from India by Portuguese traders, and are known as “jaca” throughout South America. Brazilians only eat fully mature, sweet jackfruit, and this variety gets sugary sweet when completely ripe. The fruits weigh about 20 lbs, with bright lime green skins and pale yellow flesh.
Malaysian Dwarf jackfruit is unusual because it yields fruits twice a season: before and after the monsoons fall. As you may have guessed from its description, it’s a smaller tree variety and its fruits reflect its shorter stature. The fruits only get to about 10 pounds in size, with olive-green skins and bright orange inner flesh.
This variety thrives in both California and Florida, and has beautiful green skin and dark orange flesh. The fruits grow to an average of 20 lbs and their flesh is both sweet and crunchy when fully ripened.
This variety yields its harvest in August and September, with medium-sized, 20 lb fruits. They’re neither the sweetest nor the juiciest jackfruit variety, nor are they particularly flavorful. Hemachandra types are considered “poor man’s food” in Bangladesh because they’re lower quality, best used in stews when underripe.
Singapuri Wada is a hybrid that’s currently being cultivated in India. It’s a cross between a Singapore cultivar (as you may have guessed) blended with a Malaysian variety. It yields gorgeously sweet, medium-sized oblong fruits with bright yellow-green skins. They average between 11 and 30 pounds and are apparently some of the tastiest fruits available in the Maharashtra region.
This is one of the many jackfruit varieties named after the color of its flesh. While its skin is dark greenish-yellow when mature, its sweet, thick, crunchy inner flesh is orange-pink in hue.
Jackfruit is one of the three sacred trees in Tamil Nadu, and the primary variety is Gulabi, which means “rose-scented”. It has light green skin and soft, sweet, pale yellow flesh. The fruits grow upwards of 80 lbs, and their spines smooth out significantly as they mature.
Most jackfruit varieties have a fair bit of latex in their flesh, which accounts for their occasionally rubbery texture. In contrast, Gumless jackfruits have the lowest latex content of all known cultivars so far. Its texture is slippery, rather like a raw oyster, and exquisitely sweet when fully ripe.
This variety is described as tasting like honey, which sounds absolutely glorious. They originated in Thailand and Malaysia, and are now grown in Kerala as well. The trees are dwarf cultivars, which means that the fruits are on the smaller side as well. They rarely grow above 10 lbs and have golden yellow skins and peachy interior flesh.
Growing Jackfruit Trees
Climate and Soil required for Jackfruit Plantation:
Jackfruit is mainly a tree of lowlands of tropical demography. It has adapted to a wider range of conditions due to geographical variety.
The best soil for growing Jackfruit is alluvial soils that are deep and of open texture. However, due to a wider range of conditions, it can be grown on different varieties of soils as long as they are well-drained.
Propagating and Planting Jackfruit:
Jackfruit is usually produced by seeds. The other method is asexual propagation. For production by seeds, one should select healthy, vigorous, and disease-resistant seeds from productive mother trees. Sexual propagation can be done by enriching or grafting. Among the grafting methods, cleft grafting appears to be the most effective as it is able to counter the devastating effects of a typhoon which usually destroys tall trees.
The chosen place for the planting should be first cleared from old tree stumps and old roots to avoid termites and root disease. When necessary, the soil should be plowed first, then rows are made to mark the planting intervals. In an acre, 48 trees can be planted. In a new area, the planting interval can be reduced to 25 ft. x 25 ft., and 69 trees can be planted in an acre.
Usually, the planting holes are left open for 14 days before they are filled up again, and only then the jackfruit tree should be planted. It is important to remember that during planting, the bud patch is not to be covered with soil. It would otherwise cause the bud patch to rot and die.
The amount of sunlight can be reduced by using a shade from coconut fronds. Shading from the coconut fronds can be removed after two weeks if the weather is fine. Otherwise, it should be left for another week or more.
Jackfruit Tree Care
This tree needs full sunlight to grow well and produce fruit. That means it should get at least six hours of direct sun on most days. A tree grown in conditions that are too shady might never bear fruit.
Jackfruit trees prefer a nutrient-rich soil with excellent drainage. They are not overly picky about soil pH, though they seem to grow best in slightly acidic soil.
As tropical plants, jackfruit trees like consistently moist soil year-round. Water them whenever your soil begins to dry out due to a lack of rainfall or extreme heat. However, be sure the tree roots aren't sitting in pooling water. This can inhibit fruit production and ultimately kill the tree.
Temperature and Humidity
These trees like warm temperatures and are very heat tolerant. However, they are quite sensitive to frost (especially young trees), and temperatures below about 35 degrees Fahrenheit can easily weaken or kill them. Moreover, jackfruit trees prefer humid conditions and don’t tend to thrive in dry climates unless you can keep their soil very well watered.
Fertilize jackfruit trees twice a year in the spring and fall with a slow-release granular fertilizer. It also can be beneficial to mix compost into the soil around the tree annually.
Young jackfruit trees don’t need much in the way of pruning except for removing any diseased, damaged, or dead portions. For mature trees, you can keep them at a manageable height for harvesting fruit by annually pruning off select upright branches. This will encourage more lateral growth, rather than vertical growth. Also, remove some old branches throughout the tree to improve air flow and ensure that sunlight can hit all parts of the tree. But don't remove more than a third of the overall branches. Wait until after your fruit harvest to prune the tree.
Within three to six years after planting, the jack tree starts to flower, and in two-three months after blossoming, young and unripe green skinned fruits are ready to be picked as a vegetable.
Mature fruits are ready to harvest after four-five months of flowering when they exude sweet aroma, and their skin turns from green to yellowish tinge. In native conditions, it bears fruits year-round but peak harvest season is summer.
Pests and Diseases
It is the most destructive tree pest and Jackfruit is also vulnerable to its infestation. To control it you should wrap fruits with empty cement bags or jute sacks. Spray wrappers with pesticides to reduce fruit damage.
Another common pest is the Bark borer. This pest removes the dead branches where it lays its eggs. Spray the recommended pesticides and burn affected twigs and dead branches.
Fungal Pink Disease
During the rainy season, Jackfruit can also be attacked by the Fungal pink disease. To prevent it spray plants with Sulphur fungicide at least twice a month during the rainy season. Any severely affected branches should be burnt.
Benefits of Jackfruit
Packed with nutrients, Jackfruit is rich in anti-oxidants and offers many health benefits including:
Constipation: Jackfruit is a good source of fiber, so it could help you feel fuller for longer and help keep your bowel movements regular.
Ulcers: The natural chemicals in jackfruit may help prevent these sores from forming inside your stomach.
Diabetes: Your body digests and absorbs jackfruit more slowly than some other foods. That means your blood sugar won't rise as quickly as it might when you eat other fruits. One study found that jackfruit extract made it easier for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar.
High blood pressure: The potassium in this tropical fruit could help lower your blood pressure, which can help stave off heart disease, stroke, and bone loss.
Skin problems: The high amounts of vitamin C in jackfruit may help protect your skin from sun damage. You need plenty of that nutrient to keep your skin firm and strong.
Cancer: Phytonutrients, like those found in jackfruit, are natural compounds that might have cancer-fighting benefits, such as preventing cancer cells from forming in your body.
Treats Anaemia: The treasure trove of minerals present in jackfruit seeds, essential iron helps in the synthesis of haemoglobin, boost iron levels and prevents anaemia and other blood disorders. Include seeds in your regular meal plan to improve iron levels and manage anaemia.
Healthy Hair: The seed powder is also valuable for improving hair health, as the anti- scalp irritation, inflammation and dandruff. It also enriches the hair follicles, improves blood flow and strengthens the hair roots from deep within, thus promoting the growth of stronger and lustrous mane.
Jackfruit is also used as a vegetable. It is a meat substitute for vegetarians. It is also called vegetarian meat in Asia because of its texture, which is like pork or chicken.
Its unripe fruit is used to prepare mouthwatering curry recipes, soups, puree, and pickles.
Ripe fruits are sweet, aromatic, and fibrous, which can be eaten alone or used in making syrups, pastries, cakes, and ice creams.
The wood of the jackfruit tree is used to make furniture or musical instruments.
Jackfruit paste is applied to the skin for poisonous bites.
Jackfruit is commonly used in South and Southeast Asian cuisines.
The unripe fruit is used in curry, and the seed is often dried and preserved to be later used in curry.
Jackfruit wood is widely used in the manufacture of furniture, doors and windows, in roof construction, and fish sauce barrels.