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Artocarpus heterophyllus - Lam.

Common Name Jackfruit
Family Moraceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Rainforests[ 303 ]. Evergreen forests at elevations of 450 - 1,200 metres[ 525 ].
Range E. Asia - Indian subcontinent.
Edibility Rating    (5 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Artocarpus heterophyllus Jackfruit

Artocarpus heterophyllus Jackfruit
wikimedia.org User:tomsaint11


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Jackfruit or Artocarpus heterophyllus is a tropical evergreen tree that grows up to 20 m in height. It has one or two main trunks with a smooth and dark green bark. Its fruit is large, spiky, and composite. Its leaves are green, glossy, and leathery. Jackfruit is cultivated for its wide range of uses. Ashes of the leaves are used for treating ulcers, diarrhoea, boils, stomach-ache and boils. Seeds are aphrodisiac and as a cooling tonic like the pulp. Root decoction can reduce fever and can treat diarrhoea, skin diseases and asthma. The pulp is an anti-syphilitic and a vermifuge. The latex has an anti-bacterial activity similar to that of papaya latex. The fruit is edible, either consumed raw or cooked in many ways. The pulp of young fruit and the seeds are cooked as vegetable. The rind of the fruit produces a jelly. The seed can be grounded into a powder and used in biscuit-making. Jackfruit can be used to control soil erosion due to its extensive root system. Also, it is a fast growing tree. The wood is a very useful timber for it is resistant to termite attack and fungal and bacterial decay. It can also be used for fuel.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Artocarpus heterophyllus is an evergreen Tree growing to 15 m (49ft) by 15 m (49ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10 and is frost tender. The flowers are pollinated by Insects, wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Artocarpus brasiliensis Gomez. Artocarpus integer Auct. Artocarpus integrifolius Auct. Artocarpus ph

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Fruit  Leaves  Seed  Shoots
Edible Uses: Gelatine  Gum

Edible portion: Fruit, Seeds, Leaves, Flowers. Fruit - raw or cooked in a variety of ways[ 301 ]. The pulp of young fruit is rich in carbohydrates and is usually cooked as a vegetable[ K ]. The fruit becomes sweeter as it ripens, as some of the carbohydrates are converted into sugars. It is often eaten raw at this stage, but is also still cooked as a vegetable[ K ]. The rind of the fruit yields a fair jelly[ 301 ]. The fruit case is enormous, it can be 30 - 50cm long, weigh up to 20kg and contain up to 500 individual golden-coloured fruits[ 46 , 296 ]. They have rather a strong smell which some people do not like, though they can be dried when the smell is less[ 296 ]. Seed - cooked. Lovely when boiled or roasted, with a flavour and texture similar to chestnuts[ 63 , 296 , 301 ]. They can be ground into a powder and used in making biscuits[ 301 ]. The seeds have a high starch content and about 5% protein[ 63 ]. When boiling the seeds, the water is sometimes changed 2 or three times in order to remove an objectionable odour[ 63 ]. Very young fruits and leaf shoots - cooked in soups and stews[ 301 ]. Young male flowers are eaten mixed with chillies, sugar, salt etc[ 301 ]. There can be 100-500 seed in a fruit. Unlike breadfruit, there are no seedless Jackfruit. When ripe the unopened fruit has a strong smell.

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Abortifacient  Antiasthmatic  Antidiarrhoeal  Aphrodisiac  Febrifuge  Mouthwash  Sedative  Skin  
Stomachic  Tonic  Vermifuge

The ashes of leaves, with or without oil, are used to treat ulcers, diarrhoea, boils, stomach-ache and wounds[ 303 ]. The pulp and seeds of the fruit are regarded as a cooling tonic[ 303 ]. The seeds are said to be an aphrodisiac[ 303 ]. The sap is an anti-syphilitic and a vermifuge[ 303 ]. The wood is claimed to have sedative properties, and its pith is said to be able to induce abortion[ 303 ]. A root decoction is used to alleviate fever, treat diarrhoea, skin diseases and asthma[ 303 ]. The bacteriolytic activity of the latex is equal to that of papaya latex[ 303 ]. Dried latex yields artotenone, a compound with marked androgenic action; it can also be mixed with vinegar to promote healing of abscesses, snakebite and glandular swellings[ 303 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Adhesive  Dye  Fodder  Fuel  Gum  Houseplant  Latex  Resin  Soil stabilization  String  Tannin  Varnish  Weaving  Wood

Other uses rating: Medium (3/5). Suitable for growing indoors. Agroforestry Uses: The tree has a wide-ranging root system and can be planted to control floods and soil erosion in farms[ 303 ]. It is suitable for use in reforestation projects[ 418 ]. The tree is often used in mixed plantings. It can be used as a shade tree for coffee, planted with coconut groves, has been used as an intercrop in durian orchards, and with mango and citrus[ 303 , 418 ]. Young jackfruit orchards may be intercropped with annual cash crops such as banana, sweet corn and groundnut[ 303 ]. Other Uses The inner part of the bark or bast is occasionally made into cordage or cloth[ 303 ]. The latex obtained from the trunk and branches yields 71.8% resin, consisting of 63.3% fluavilles (yellow) and 8.5% albanes (white). These resins may be valuable in varnishes[ 303 ]. The latex is commonly used as adhesive for mending broken chinaware or earthenware, caulking boats, mending holes of buckets and trapping birds. In India and Brazil, the latex serves as a substitute for rubber[ 303 ]. The bark yields a dark, water-soluble resinous gum that contains 3.3% tannin[ 303 ]. When boiled with alum, the sawdust or chips of the heartwood produce a rich yellow dye used for silk and the cotton robes of Buddhist priests[ 303 , 525 ]. Wood is yellow at first, becoming red. It is classified as medium hardwood. It is resistant to termite attack and fungal and bacterial decay and is easy to season[ 303 ]. It takes polish beautifully. Though not as strong as teak, it is considered superior to that wood for furniture, construction, turnery and inlay work, masts, oars, implements and musical instruments. The wood is widely used in India and Sri Lanka and is even exported to Europe[ 303 ]. Roots are highly prized for carvings and picture framing[ 303 ]. The wood is used for fuel[ 418 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Fodder: Fruit  Management: Standard  Minor Global Crop  Other Systems: Homegarden  Other Systems: Multistrata  Staple Crop: Balanced carb  Staple Crop: Basic Starch

A plant of the humid lowland tropics, growing best at an elevation below 1,000 metres, with a mean annual temperature in the range 24 - 28°c, a mean max temperature of 32 - 35°c, a mean minimum temperature of 16 - 20°c, and a mean annual rainfall in the range 900 - 4,000mm evenly distributed through the year[ 303 ]. Prefers a climate without a dry season, but can tolerate a short dry season[ 525 ]. Jackfruits can grow at higher elevations than the breadfruit and also in cooler and drier climates[ 200 , 303 ]. They can even succeed in warm temperate areas, but they remain small and any fruit is of poor quality[ 200 ]. Trees can bear fruit at latitudes up to 30' from the equator, with good crops up to 25' distant[ 303 ]. Succeeds in a variety of soils[ 296 ]. Prefers a deep, well-drained alluvial soil[ 200 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 7.5, tolerating 4.3 - 8[ 418 ]. Young plants need some shade, but need increasing light levels as they mature[ 200 ]. Mature plants are relatively drought resistant[ 296 ]. Plants have poor drought tolerance[ 418 ]. Slightly more tolerant of cold than breadfruit. There are two main groups of cultivars, one group has soft rinds whilst the other has hard[ 46 ]. Jackfruits produce one of the largest fruits in the world[ 200 ]. The trees have a deep taproot[ 303 ]. Plants can produce their first crop within 3 years of the seed germinating, but 8 years is a more common time[ 296 , 418 ]. Flower and fruit loads are initially low and improve with increasing size and age; trees 2 years old produce about 25 flowers and 3 fruits; trees 5 years old bear as many as 840 flowers, and trees 6 years old 1,500 flowers[ 303 ]. However, only 15-18 fruits develop due to the low production of female spikes (about 0.6-5% of the total number of inflorescences[ 303 ]. Young trees bear more male than female flowers at a ratio of 4:1; production of female flower increases with age. A male-to-female ratio of 2:1 produces 250 fruits per tree, and as the trees ages, fruit productivity declines[ 303 ]. In suitable environments trees bear fruits and flowers throughout the year, but in areas with distinct dry and wet seasons, flowering occurs in the wet season[ 303 ]. In young trees, fruits are usually borne on branches and in older trees, on trunks and roots[ 303 ]. Jackfruit exhibits fairly rapid growth, attaining a height of 3 metres and a canopy diameter of 2 metres at 2 years of age. In 5 years, the tree height reaches 7 metres and the canopy diameter 4 metres; trees 20 years old are about 18 metres, as tree growth slows down with age[ 303 ].

Carbon Farming

  • Fodder: Fruit  Fodder from fruiting plants especially trees.
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Minor Global Crop  These crops are already grown or traded around the world, but on a smaller scale than the global perennial staple and industrial crops, The annual value of a minor global crop is under $1 billion US. Examples include shea, carob, Brazil nuts and fibers such as ramie and sisal.
  • Other Systems: Homegarden  Tropical multistrata agroforestry (multi-story combinations of trees, crops, domestic animals in the homestead).
  • Other Systems: Multistrata  Multistrata agroforests feature multiple layers of trees often with herbaceous perennials, annual crops, and livestock.
  • Staple Crop: Balanced carb  (0-15 percent protein, 0-15 percent oil, with at least one over 5 percent). The carbohydrates are from either starch or sugar. Annuals include maize, wheat, rice, and potato. Perennials include chestnuts, carob, perennial fruits, nuts, cereals, pseudocereals, woody pods, and acorns.
  • Staple Crop: Basic Starch  The Carbon Farming Solution. Eric Toensmeier.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - under suitable conditions, germination begins within 10 days, and 80-100% germination is achieved within 35-40 days after sowing[ 303 ]. The seed quickly loses viability and so should be sown as soon as possible[ 296 ]. Seedlings produce a long taproot and can be difficult to transplant, so it is best to pot them up into deep pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and to plant them out into their permanent positions as soon as possible. The seed germinates best at a temperature of 24 - 27°c[ 200 ]. Root cuttings. Air layering. Stem cuttings are also possible. Air layering is best done in the rainy season. Rooting hormones can be used to help roots develop. The shoots used for air layering should be 2-3 years old and brown in colour. To produce air layers, a small branch 3-4 cm across, is cut below a node and only part way around the stem. A ring 5-7 cm wide is cut and a layer of sand wrapped around the stem and covered with plastic. Using 1% IBA growth substances helps shoots to strike and form roots. Roots form in about 22 days and the stem can be cut off and planted after about 2-3 months.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Jackfruit or Artocarpus heterophyllus. Other Names: Banun, Bu luo mi, Ekifenensi, Jaca-dura, Jaca-mole, Jaca, Jak, Jakobo, Kaihal, Kanoon, Kanthal, Katahal, Kathal ke beej, Kathal, Katthar, Khanum, Khanun, Khnaor, Kifenensi, Kos, Kothal, Kulu jaka, Lamasa, Lamkhong, Lamkhuang, Langka, Ma mi, Makmi, Malasa, Mfenesi mfuu, Mfenesi, Mfenesi, Miiz hnang, Miiz, Mit, Moe ulu initia, Nangka, Nongko, Pala, Peignai, Peinne, Phanas, Pilapalam, Plavu, Polos, Te mai rekereke, Thaiphlung, Theibong, Tshackka, Tsjaka, Uto ni idia, Varaka, Yakobo.

TROPICAL ASIA: India (possibly indigenous in Western Ghats region),

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Artocarpus altilisBreadfruitTree18.0 10-12 FLMHNM544
Artocarpus camansiBreadnut, KamansiTree15.0 10-12 FLMHNM413
Artocarpus integerChampedakTree20.0 11-12 SLMHNM403
Artocarpus mariannensisSeeded breadfruit, Marianas breadTree15.0 10-12 FLMSNM434
Artocarpus odoratissimusMarang, TerapTree25.0 10-12 MLMHNM400

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References

Links / References

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A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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