Artocarpus heterophyllus (jackfruit)
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.
Preferred Common Name
Other Scientific Names
- Artocarpus brasiliensis Gomez
- Artocarpus integrifolius auct.
- Artocarpus maxima Blanco
- Artocarpus philippensis Lam.
International Common Names
- English: jack
- Spanish: jaca; jacueiro
- French: jacquier
Local Common Names
- Bangladesh: kathal
- Brazil: jaqueira
- Germany: Jackfruchtbaum
- India: alasa; halasu; kathal; kathar; phanas; pila; pilavu
- Indonesia: nangka; nongko
- Laos: miiz; miiz hnang
- Malaysia: nangka
- Myanmar: khnaôr; peignai
- Papua New Guinea: kapiak
- Philippines: jak; langka; nangka
- Sri Lanka: jak
- Thailand: banun; khanum; makmi; nangka
- Vietnam: mít
- ABFHE (Artocarpus heterophyllus)
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
The following summary is from Witt and Luke (2017):
Medium-sized evergreen tree [8–25 (–30) m tall]; stem straight, of diameter 30–80 (–200) cm, branching near the base, rarely buttressed; twigs sometimes covered with
minute hairs; crown dome-shaped, sometimes pyramidal, dense; exudes a white gummy latex when damaged.
Bangladesh, India, Malaysia.
Reason for Introduction
Food, fodder, medicine, shade and ornament.
Roadsides, disturbed areas, urban open spaces, forest edges/gaps and secondary forest.
Has the ability to form dense stands, to the detriment of native flora and fauna.
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Dicotyledonae
- Order: Urticales
- Family: Moraceae
- Genus: Artocarpus
- Species: Artocarpus heterophyllus
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
The jackfruit, Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam. (Moraceae), and its very close relative the chempedak, Artocarpus integer (Thunb.) Merr. (Moraceae), originated in India and Malaysia. Jackfruit is also known as jacquier (French), nangka (Java and Malay), langka (Filipino), khnaor (Cambodian), makmi, khanum, banum (Thai) and mit (Vietnamese) (Janick and Paull, 2008).
DescriptionTop of page Medium-sized, evergreen, monoecious tree up to 20(-30) m tall and 80(-200) cm in diameter; all living parts exude viscid, white latex when injured. Bark rough to somewhat scaly, dark grey to greyish-brown. Crown dense, conical in young and shaded trees, becoming rounded or spreading in the older tree. New shoots, twigs and leaves usually glabrous but occasionally short-haired and scabrid. Stipules ovate-acute, 1.5-8 x 0.5-3 cm, deciduous and leaving annular scars on the twigs. Leaves thin leathery, obovate-elliptic to elliptic, 5-25 x 3.5-12 cm, broadest at or above the middle, base cuneate, margin entire or in young plants often with 1-2 pairs of lobes, apex rounded or blunt with short, pointed tip; dark green and shiny above, dull pale green underneath; petiole 1.5-4 cm long, shallowly grooved on the adaxial side, sparsely hairy. Inflorescences solitary, borne axillary on special lateral, short leafy shoots arising from older branches and main trunk; male flower heads barrel-shaped or ellipsoid, 3-8 cm long and 1-3 cm across, composed of sterile and fertile flowers closely embedded on a central core (receptacle), dark green, stalk 1.5-3.5 cm long and 0.5-1 cm thick, bearing annular ring near the distal end; sterile male flowers with solid perianth; fertile male flowers with tubular, bilobed, 1-1.5 mm long perianth, stamen 1-2 mm long; female heads borne singly or in pairs distal to the position of male heads, cylindrical or oblong, dark green, 5-15 cm long, 3-4.5 cm across, with a distinct annulus at the top end of the stout stalk, subtended by a spathaceous, deciduous bract, 5-8 cm long; female flowers with tubular perianths which are fused at both ends and projecting as 3-7-angled, blunt or pointed, minute pyramidal protuberances topped by spathulate or ligulate styles and stigmas. Fruit (syncarp) barrel- or pear-shaped, 30-100 x 25-50 cm, with short pyramidal protuberances or warts; stalk 5-10 cm long, 1-1.5 cm thick; rind ca 1 cm thick, together with the central core (receptacle) inseparable from the waxy, firm or soft, golden yellow, fleshy perianths surrounding the seeds. Seeds numerous, oblong-ellipsoid, 2-4 x 1.5-2.5 cm, enclosed by horny endocarps and subgelatinous exocarps; testa thin and leathery; embryo with ventral radicle, cotyledons fleshy, unequal; endosperm very small or absent.
DistributionTop of page The jackfruit is most probably indigenous to (and in the past grew wild in) the rain forests of the Western Ghats, India. Since time immemorial it has been cultivated; it was introduced and became naturalized in many parts of the tropics, particularly in the South-East Asian region.
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Planted||Reference||Notes|
|Kenya||Present||Introduced||Witt and Luke (2017)|
|Tanzania||Present||Introduced||Witt and Luke (2017)|
|Uganda||Present||Introduced||Witt and Luke (2017)|
|Sri Lanka||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated)|
|Federated States of Micronesia||Present||Planted||CABI (Undated)|
|Brazil||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Instituto Horus (2019)|
|-Amazonas||Present||Introduced||Instituto Horus (2019)|
|-Bahia||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Instituto Horus (2019)||Introduced for food|
|-Ceara||Present||Introduced||Instituto Horus (2019)|
|-Distrito Federal||Present||Introduced||Instituto Horus (2019)|
|-Espirito Santo||Present||Introduced||Instituto Horus (2019)|
|-Paraiba||Present||Introduced||Instituto Horus (2019)|
|-Parana||Present||Introduced||Instituto Horus (2019)|
|-Pernambuco||Present||Introduced||Instituto Horus (2019)|
|-Piaui||Present||Introduced||Instituto Horus (2019)|
|-Rio de Janeiro||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Instituto Horus (2019)||Introduced for reforestation in 1860|
|-Rio Grande do Norte||Present||Introduced||Instituto Horus (2019)|
|-Santa Catarina||Present||Introduced||Instituto Horus (2019)|
|-Sao Paulo||Present||Introduced||Instituto Horus (2019)|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
Growth and Development
Trees raised from seed start flowering at the age of 2-8 years. Clonally propagated trees produce fruit within 2-4 years from planting under favourable conditions. Clonal material reaches full production in Malaysia when the trees are 8-15 years old. In suitable environments, jackfruit trees bear flowers and fruits throughout the year, but usually there is a major harvest period, in April-August or September-December in Malaysia, January-May in Thailand and in the 'summer' in India. This implies that 3-6 months earlier, conditions were particularly favourable for flowering or fruit set. A load of growing fruit may suppress flowering and so accentuate seasonality of production. Whereas female flower heads are only borne on short shoots emerging from the trunk and main limbs, male heads are not restricted to these shoots; they also occur on shoots in the periphery of the tree canopy, particularly in vigorously growing trees. Male and female heads on a cauliflorous shoot develop almost simultaneously, the male head reaching maturity 3-5 days earlier. For the tree as a whole, male and female flowers open over a long period.
At anthesis, the male heads are dusted with sticky yellow pollen and emit a sweet scent which attracts small insects such as flies and beetles. These may be the pollinating agents, but few insects visit the female heads and in India pollination has been reported to be effected by wind. After anthesis, the male heads turn blackish and drop off. The fertilized female heads develop into mature fruits after 3 months or more, depending on the seedling or clone; at higher altitude or latitude it may take up to 6 months. Unfertilized flowers develop into strap- or string-like structures filling the spaces in between the developing fruitlets. A well-developed fruit may contain up to 500 seeds, each weighing 3-6 g. Germination is hypogeal, but unlike the breadfruit seedling, the cotyledons separate, thus allowing the plumule to emerge without any hindrance. New leaves take 12-15 days to expand. Extension growth in mature trees is slow (up to 3-5 cm per month), but it tends to be continuous.
In its original habitats, jackfruit was apparently found mainly in evergreen forests at altitudes of 400-1200 m. The tree extends into much drier and cooler climates than A. altilis (Parkinson) Fosberg (breadfruit) and A. integer (chempedak); it fruits up to latitudes 30°N and S in frost-free areas and bears good crops 25°N and S of the equator. However, jackfruit thrives in warm and humid climates below 1000 m. In fact, it has poor cold, drought and flooding tolerance, but moderate wind and salinity tolerance. The annual rainfall should be 1500 mm or more and the dry season not too prominent. The tree can be grown on different types of soil but performs best on deep, well-drained, alluvial, sandy or clay loam soils with pH 6.0-7.5.
Latitude/Altitude RangesTop of page
|Latitude North (°N)||Latitude South (°S)||Altitude Lower (m)||Altitude Upper (m)|
Air TemperatureTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit|
|Absolute minimum temperature (ºC)||-3||0|
|Mean annual temperature (ºC)||24||28|
|Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC)||32||35|
|Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC)||16||20|
RainfallTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit||Description|
|Dry season duration||2||4||number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall|
|Mean annual rainfall||900||4000||mm; lower/upper limits|
Soil TolerancesTop of page
Special soil tolerances
UsesTop of page
The pulp of young fruit is cooked as a vegetable, pickled or canned in brine or curry; pulp of ripe fruit is eaten fresh or made into various local delicacies (e.g. 'dodol' and 'kolak' in Java), chutney, jam, jelly and paste, or preserved as candies by drying or mixing with sugar, honey or syrup. The pulp is also used to flavour ice-cream and beverages, or made into jackfruit honey, or reduced to a concentrate or powder and used for preparing drinks. Addition of synthetic flavours such as esters of 4-hydroxybutyric acid greatly improves the flavour of canned fruit and nectar. The seeds are eaten after boiling or roasting, or dried and salted as table nuts, or ground to make flour which is blended with wheat flour for baking. Young leaves are readily eaten by cattle and other livestock. The bark contains ca 3.3% tannin, and is occasionally used in making cordage or cloth. A yellow dye extracted from wood particles is used to dye silk and the cotton robes of Buddhist priests. The latex serves as birdlime and is employed as a household cement for mending china and for caulking boats.
The timber is classified as medium hardwood; it is resistant to termite attack, fungal and bacterial decay, easy to season and takes polish beautifully. Thus, though not as strong as teak, jackfruit wood is considered superior to teak for furniture, construction, turnery, masts, oars, implements and musical instruments. The wood is widely used in Sri Lanka and India, and is exported to Europe. Roots of older trees are highly prized for carving and picture-framing.
The jackfruit tree is also renowned for its medicinal properties. In China, jackfruit pulp and seeds are considered as a cooling and nutritious tonic, useful in overcoming the effects of alcohol. In South-East Asia, the seed starch is used to relieve biliousness and the roasted seeds are regarded as an aphrodisiac. Heated leaves are placed on wounds, and the ash of the leaves burned with maize and coconut shells is used to heal ulcers. Mixed with vinegar, the latex promotes healing of abscesses, snakebite and glandular swellings. The bark is made into a poultice. The wood has sedative properties and its pith is said to induce abortion. The root is used as a remedy against skin diseases and asthma, and its extract is taken in cases of fever and diarrhoea.
Uses ListTop of page
Animal feed, fodder, forage
- Fodder/animal feed
- Shade and shelter
- Soil improvement
Human food and beverage
- Beverage base
- Carved material
- Miscellaneous materials
- Source of medicine/pharmaceutical
Wood ProductsTop of page
Sawn or hewn building timbers
- For heavy construction
- For light construction
- Industrial and domestic woodware
- Musical instruments
- Tool handles
BibliographyTop of page Ibrahim AG et al., 1980. Plant protection in orchards. In: Yaacob O, ed. Fruit production in Malaysia. Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Pertanian Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia,163-190.
Bhutani DK, 1978. Pests and diseases of jackfruit in India and their control. Fruits,33: 352-357.
Burgess PF, 1966. Timbers of Sabah. Forest Department, Sabah, 399-406.
Ch'ng GC, Ahmad IH 1980. Nutritive value and utilization of Malaysian fruits. In: Yaacob O, ed. Fruit Production in Malaysia. Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Pertanian Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia, 242-259.
Corner EJH, 1939. Notes on the systematy and distribution of Malayan Phanerogams, II. The jack and the chempedak. Garden's Bulletin Straits Settlements, Singapore, 10: 56-81.
Coronel RE, 1986. Promising fruits of the Philippines. 2nd edition. College of Agriculture, University of the Philippines at Los Banos, 251-272.
Hashim MY, Hussein MA, 1981. A report on the techno-economic survey of the Malaysian Fruit Industry, 1980. MARDI-UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.
Molesworth-Allen B, 1967. Malayan fruits: an introduction to the cultivated species. Singapore:Donald Moore Press, 202-205.
Roy SK et al., 1990. In vitro propagation of jackfruit [Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.]. Journal of Horticultural Science, 65(3): 335-358.
Wong TM, 1982. A dictionary of Malaysian timbers. Malayan Forest Record No 30, 95-97.
ReferencesTop of page
Bailey LH, 1960. Manual of Cultivated Plants. New York, USA: The Macmillan Company
Brown WH, 1943. Useful Plants of the Philippines. Rep. Philip. Dep. Agric. Nat. Res. Tech. Bull. 10, Vol. 1. Manila, Philippines: Bur. Printing
Chandler WH, 1958. Evergreen Orchards. Philadelphia, USA: Lea and Febiger
Coronel RE, 1983. Promising fruits of the Philippines. Los Baños, Laguna: College of Agriculture, University of the Philippines
Cruz SR, 1949. Newspaper as protective wrapper for jackfruits (nangka) against the fruitfly Bactrocera umbrosa Fabr.). Philip. J. Agric., 14(3):213-219
de Leon JG, 1917. Forms of some Philippine fruits. Philip. Agric. Forest, 5(8):251-283
de Padua LS, Lugod GC, Pancho JV, 1978. Handbook on Philippine Medicinal Plants. Vol. II. UP Los Baños Tech. Bull. III(3)
Dutta S, 1956. Cultivation of jackfruit in Assam. Indian J. Hort., 13:189-197
Gabriel BP, 1975. Insects and mites injurious to Philippine crop plants. Los Baños, Laguna: Dep. Entom., Coll. Agric., UP
Galang FG, 1955. Fruit and nut growing in the Philippines. Malabon, Rizal: AIA printing Press
Geetha CK, Gopikumar K, Aravindakshan M, 1994. Comparative growth of multipurpose (indigenous vs exotic) tree species in the warm humid tropics of Kerala. Indian Journal of Forestry, 17(2):134-136; 4 ref
Guerrero LM, 1921. Medicinal uses of Philippine plants. Bur. Forest. Bull., 22(3)
Hensleigh TE, Holaway BK, (eds. ), 1988. Agroforestry species for the Philippines. Manila, Philippines: US Peace Corps
Mendiola NB, 1940. Introduction of tsampedak and suspected case of natural hybridization in Artocarpus. Philip. Agric., 28(10):789-796
Merrill ED, 1912. A Flora of Manila. Manila, Philippines: Bur. Printing
Merrill ED, 1925. An enumeration of Philippine flowering plants. Manila, Philippines: Bureau of Printing
Murthy AR, 1966. Shade trees for coffee. V. Artocarpus integrifolia Linn. Indian Coffee, 29(1):14-20
Ochse JJ, 1931. Fruits and Fruit Culture in the Dutch Indies. Djakarta: G. Kolff and Co
Ochse JJ, Soule MJ, Dijkman MJ Jr. , Wehlburg C, 1961. Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture. New York, USA: Macmillan Co
Popenoe W, 1920. Manual of Tropical and Subtropical Fruits. New York, USA: Macmillan Co
Pratt DS, del Rosario JJ, 1913. Philippine fruits; their composition and characteristics, Philippine Journal of Science, A8:59-80
Richards AV, 1950. A note on the cultivation of Singapore jak. Trop. Agric., Ceylon, 106(1):12-13
Seidemann J, 1996. Knowledge of little-known exotic fruits. 11. Nangka or jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.). [Zur Kenntnis von wenig bekannten exotischen Fruchten. 11. Mitt. Nangka oder Jackfrucht (Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.).] Deutsche Lebensmittel Rundschau, 92(3):83-90; 6 pl., 3 fig.; 31 ref
Sonwalkar MS, 1951. A study of jackfruit seeds. Indian J. Hort., 8(2):27-30
Srinivasan K, 1963. Juvenility as a factor affecting airlayering in jack. Agric. Res. J. Kerala, 1:1-3
Srinivasan K, 1970. "Multon Varikkha" - a promising jackfruit variety. Agric. Res. J. Kerala, 8(1):51-52
Tanchico SS, Magpantay CR, 1958. Analysis and composition of nanka (Artocarpus integra Merr.) latex. Philippine Journal of Science, 87(2):149-157
Wester PJ, 1916. Food plants of the Philippines. II. Fruits and spices. Philip. Agric. Rev., 9:199-256
Wester PJ, 1921. The food plants of the Philippines. Philip. Agric. Rev., 14(3):211-384
Witt, A., Luke, Q., 2017. Guide to the naturalized and invasive plants of Eastern Africa, [ed. by Witt, A., Luke, Q.]. Wallingford, UK: CABI.vi + 601 pp. http://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/ebook/20173158959 doi:10.1079/9781786392145.0000
Yap AR, 1972. Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam., Moraceae). In: Cultural Directions for Philippine Agricultural Crops. Vol. 1 (Fruits). Manila, Philippines: Publ. Aff. Off. Press, Bur. Plant Indus., 137-141
CABI, Undated. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI
Instituto Horus, 2019. Database of invasive alien species from Brazil. (Base de dados de espécies exóticas invasoras do Brasil)., Florianópolis - SC, Brazil: Instituto Horus. http://bd.institutohorus.org.br/www/
Witt A, Luke Q, 2017. Guide to the naturalized and invasive plants of Eastern Africa. [ed. by Witt A, Luke Q]. Wallingford, UK: CABI. vi + 601 pp. http://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/ebook/20173158959 DOI:10.1079/9781786392145.0000
Distribution MapsTop of page
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