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Ananas comosus - (L.) Merr.

Common Name Pineapple
Family Bromeliaceae
USDA hardiness 9-11
Known Hazards Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Habitats Savannahs[416].
Range S. America - Brazil.
Edibility Rating    (5 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Ananas comosus Pineapple

Ananas comosus Pineapple


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Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a succulent, herbaceous, perennial plant. Its leaves are spiky, thick, long, and arranged in spiral forming a rosette of up to 1 m high and 1.5 m wide. It produces two suckers, one is near the base of the stem and the other is near the fruit. The fruit is a multiple fruit formed by 100-200 berries. Pineapple fruit aids in digestion due to its bromelain content. When unripe, the fruit improves digestion, increases appetite, relieves dyspepsia, and relieves discomfort from sore throats. When ripe, the fruit helps in reducing excessive gastric acid. It is also used as a laxative for relieving constipation due to its significant fibre content. The juice from the ripe fruit is diuretic, a digestive tonic, and is used to apply to burns, itches and boils. The leaves are used as treatment for fractures and for easing painful periods. The fruit is edible, either eaten raw, cooked, or preserved. It is sweet, very succulent, and aromatic. The core of the fruit is made into candies. Terminal buds and flowering stem are cooked as a vegetable, added to soups, or eaten raw. Young shoots are eaten in salads or curries. The leaves are also a source of a durable fibre which is white, soft, silky, flexible, and long in staple. In the Philippines, pineapple fibre is used to make pia cloth. The plant cannot withstand waterlogged condition.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Ananas comosus is an evergreen Perennial growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Ananas ananas (L.) H.Karst. ex Voss Ananas argentata J.C.Wendl. ex Schult. & Schult.f. Ananas aurata

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Shoots  Stem
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw, cooked or preserved[ 46 , 296 ]. A very succulent, aromatic, sweet, acidic pulp[ 416 ]. It can be eaten fresh or canned as dessert, cooked in dishes, and is also commonly used for making juice[ 418 ]. The core of the fruit is made into candies[ 46 ]. The fruit is a good source of vitamins A and C[ 254 ]. The fruit is a multiple fruit formed by the almost complete fusion of 100 - 200 berry-like fruitlets. It can weigh between 0.5 and 2.5 kilos[ 418 ]. The fruits are about 30 - 60 cm long[ 335 ]. A sugar-syrup is obtained from the pressed juice[ 418 ]. Terminal buds - raw or cooked[ 301 ]. They can be cooked as a vegetable or added to soups[ 301 ]. Flowering stem - cooked[ 301 ]. Peeled and sliced, they are used as a cooked vegetable or are added to stews[ 301 ]. Young shoots are eaten in salads or curries[ 301 ].

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  Appetite Stimulants  Digestive  Digestive  Diuretic  Laxative  Purgative  Skin  
Uterine tonic

Pineapple fruits contain bromelain, a protein-splitting enzyme that aids digestion[ 254 ]. The sour, unripe fruit improves digestion, increases appetite and relieves dyspepsia[ 254 ]. In Indian herbal medicine it is also thought to act as a uterine tonic[ 254 ]. It is used as a treatment to ease sore throats[ 348 ]. It is eaten in some areas, either on its own or cooked with Citrus aurantiifolia) to procure an abortion[ 348 ]. The ripe fruit cools and soothes - it is used to settle wind and reduce excessive gastric acid[ 254 , 348 ]. Its significant fibre content make it a useful laxative for relieving constipation[ 254 ]. The juice of the ripe fruit is both diuretic and a digestive tonic[ 254 ]. The leaves are anthelmintic and purgative[ 272 ]. They considered useful in encouraging the onset of menstruation and easing painful periods[ 254 ]. The leaves are used to treat fractures[ 348 ]. The juice of the plant is applied to burns, itches and boils[ 272 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Fibre  Hedge  Houseplant

Other uses rating: Medium (3/5). Agroforestry Uses: The plants can be grouped as a groundcover in a mass planting[ 309 ]. Other Uses: A hard fibre is obtained from the leaves[ 46 , 254 ]. Strong and silky[ 418 ]. Both the wild and cultivated plants yield fibres which, when spun, surpass in strength, fineness and lustre those obtained from flax (Linum usitatissimum)[ 454 ]. The fibre is white, soft, silky, flexible, and long in staple; it is remarkably durable, and unaffected by immersion in water. It can be employed as a substitute for silk, and as a material for mixing with wool or cotton[ 454 ]. It is also useful for cordage, textile fabrics, sewing silk or twist, laces, as a material for stringing necklaces etc[ 454 ]. It produces the celebrated pina cloth of the Philippine Islands[ 454 ]. Indoor Plant.

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Food Forest  Ground Cover  Hedge

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Agroforestry Services: Contour hedgerow  Agroforestry Services: Living fence  Global Fruit Crop  Industrial Crop: Fiber  Management: Standard  Minor Fiber

A plant of the moist, mainly lowland tropics, where it can also be found at elevations up to 1,800 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range of 21 - 30°c, but can tolerate 10 - 36°c[ 418 ]. The plant can be damaged or killed if temperatures drop to 5c for any prolonged period of time, and is killed by even a short period at 0°c[ 418 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 800 - 2,500mm, but tolerates 550 - 3,500mm[ 418 ]. Plants can tolerate full sun to fairly dark shade[ 309 ]. Prefers a light, well-drained, humus-rich soil that is on the acid side[ 335 , 352 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 4.5 - 8, tolerating 3.5 - 9[ 418 ]. Established plants are very drought tolerant[ 309 ]. Commercial cultivation is largely limited to latitudes between 25°S - 25°N, but it can also be found to 33°S[ 418 ]. Fruits tend to be smaller and less sweet when grown at higher elevations and most pineapples are grown near the sea in areas with a high atmospheric humidity often on hill slopes[ 418 ]. The plant requires 11 - 36 months from planting until the first crop of fruit. When grown commercially, the plant has an economic life of just 2 - 3 years, though the plant may continue to live and fruit for over 50 years[ 418 ]. The optimum yield is 60 - 80 tonnes/ha for the first harvest; the first ratoon crop yields approximately 10% less; the second ratoon crop is 30% less[ 418 ]. A shallow-rooted plant[ 352 ]. Individual plants are self-sterile, but sexual fertilization is unnecessary because fruit is produced parthenocarpically[ 335 ]. There are many named varieties[ 296 ]. Suitable for growing indoors.

Carbon Farming

  • Agroforestry Services: Contour hedgerow  Alley cropping systems on the contour of slopes.
  • Agroforestry Services: Living fence  Simply managed rows of shrubs and trees.
  • Global Fruit Crop  These crops are already grown or traded around the world. The annual value of each is more than $1 billion US.
  • Industrial Crop: Fiber  Clothing, rugs, sheets, blankets etc. Currently, almost none of our fiber are produced from perennial crops but could be!
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Minor Fiber  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.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plant Propagation

Seed - cultivars do not breed true and so seed production is usually restricted to the search for new cultivars[ 200 ]. Crowns (leafy clumps atop mature fruits)[ 352 ]. Remove the leafy crown by twisting or cutting, remove any remaining yellow fruit attached to the crown then dry it for one or two days[ 352 ]. Place the crown in a moist potting soil mix or in water until roots appear[ 352 ]. Stem cuttings made after fruiting[ 200 ]. Remove the leaves from the stems, and cut into pieces or lay intact in trays, covering with 2cm of rooting medium[ 200 ]. Give bottom heat at around 20° - 27°c until roots are formed[ 200 ]. Lateral shoots[ 416 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Abarba, Anana, Ananas, Anaras, Anarash, Andras, Aneh, Annasi, Apangdang, Bhuin kathar, Bonat, Danas, Ennanansi, Kanas, Laimuri, Maneas, Mazhudhachakka, Moneah, Moyusi, Nanas pager, Nanas, Naneh, Nat, Painapiu, Pina, Po lo, Ponapa, Sapparat, Sapparot, Sola, Supparot, Te bainaboro, Thom, Vadra, Vainapiu, Yaanat.

Found In: Africa, Antigua and Barbuda, Asia, Australia, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central Africa, Central America, China, Colombia, Congo DR, Congo R, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, C?te d'Ivoire, Cuba, Dominican Republic, East Africa, East Timor, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Fiji, FSM, French Guiana, Ghana, Guam, Guinea, Guine, Guyana, Haiti, Hawaii, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Lesser Antilles, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Mozambique, Nauru, Nepal, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Niger, North America, Northeastern India, Pacific, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, PNG, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Rotuma, Saudi Arabia, SE Asia, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Southern Africa, South America*, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, St Lucia, Suriname, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Uganda.

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
Bromelia karatasAnanas pingouin, Karatas, CamburitoPerennial3.0 10-12 FLMHNM323
Fragaria x ananassaStrawberryPerennial0.3 4-8  LMHSNM503

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.


Expert comment


(L.) Merr.

Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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