Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Ananas comosus



Ananas comosus (pineapple)


  • Last modified
  • 20 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Threatened Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Ananas comosus
  • Preferred Common Name
  • pineapple
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Monocotyledonae

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Ananas comosus.
TitleA. comosus - colour illustration
CaptionAnanas comosus.
Copyright©Wilhelm Valder
Ananas comosus.
A. comosus - colour illustrationAnanas comosus.©Wilhelm Valder
Pineapple fruit, Madagascar.
CaptionPineapple fruit, Madagascar.
Copyright©Ruth Ibbotson
Pineapple fruit, Madagascar.
FruitPineapple fruit, Madagascar.©Ruth Ibbotson
Pineapple fruit, Madagascar.
CaptionPineapple fruit, Madagascar.
Copyright©Ruth Ibbotson
Pineapple fruit, Madagascar.
FruitPineapple fruit, Madagascar.©Ruth Ibbotson
Dai ladies selling locally produced pineapples beside the road,  Xisuangbanna, Yunnan, China.
TitlePineapple fruits
CaptionDai ladies selling locally produced pineapples beside the road, Xisuangbanna, Yunnan, China.
CopyrightQiaoqiao Zhang
Dai ladies selling locally produced pineapples beside the road,  Xisuangbanna, Yunnan, China.
Pineapple fruitsDai ladies selling locally produced pineapples beside the road, Xisuangbanna, Yunnan, China.Qiaoqiao Zhang


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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Ananas comosus

Preferred Common Name

  • pineapple

Other Scientific Names

  • Ananas sativus
  • Bromelia sativus (LINDL.) SCHULT.

International Common Names

  • Spanish: ananas; piña; piña (de America)
  • French: ananas; pain de sucre
  • Portuguese: abacaxi

Local Common Names

  • Cambodia: maneas; moneah
  • Indonesia: danas
  • Indonesia/Java: nanas
  • Indonesia/Sumatra: nanèh
  • Italy: ananasso
  • Laos: nat
  • Malaysia: nanas pager
  • Netherlands: koningsappel
  • Philippines: apangdan
  • Thailand: bonat; sapparot; yaannat
  • Vietnam: dúa; thom

EPPO code

  • ANHCO (Ananas comosus)


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Pineapple (Ananas comosus (L) Merr.) is in the bromeliad family, which has about 45 genera and 2000 species. Pineapple is by far the most economically important bromeliad and is the only one grown commercially. Other species of Ananas and Bromelia yield edible fruits: A. bracteata, A. kuntzeana, A. longifolia, A. nudicaulis, B. antiacantha, B. balansae, B. chrysantha, B. karatas, B. hemisphaerica, B. nidus-puellae, B. pinguin, B. plumieri, and B. trianae. The more common are consumed locally, under names such as cardo or banana-do-mato (bush banana), piñuelas (small pineapple), or karatas, gravatá and caroata (derived from Amerindian names given to terrestrial bromeliads). Pineapple is also called piña (Spanish), abacaxi (Portuguese), annachi pazham (Tamil) or nanas (Malaysian), with many countries using the South American Tupian language name ananas. The fruit develops by fusion of floral parts. Pineapple is eaten fresh and canned, and the juice is sold singly and in combination with other fruit juices. Pineapple is found in almost all the tropical and subtropical areas of the world, and it ranks third in production of tropical fruits, behind bananas and citrus. Pineapple is also grown in greenhouses in the temperate zone.

Principal sources: Paull and Duarte (2010); Elzebroek and Wind (2008)

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Monocotyledonae
  •                     Order: Bromeliales
  •                         Family: Bromeliaceae
  •                             Genus: Ananas
  •                                 Species: Ananas comosus


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Perennial or biennial herb, 50-150 cm tall. Leaves sword-shaped, up to 1 m or more long, 5-8 cm wide, margin spiny or almost entire, top ending in a fine point, fleshy, fibrous, grooved on upper surface, arranged in a close spiral, clasping the main axis at their base. Inflorescence compact with numerous (up to 200) reddish-purple sessile flowers, each subtended by a pointed bract; sepals 3, short, fleshy; petals 3, forming a tube enclosing 6 stamens and a narrow style with 3-branched stigma. Fruit a coenocarpium formed by an extensive thickening of the axis of the inflorescence and by the fusion of the small berry-like individual fruits; the hard rind of the fruit is formed by the persistent sepals and floral bracts, which more or less fuse; on average, the fruit is cylindrical, about 20 cm long and 14 cm in diameter, weighing 1-2.5 kg; the fruit is surmounted by a rosette of short, stiff, spirally arranged leaves, called the 'crown'; flesh pale to golden yellow, usually seedless. Besides the 'crown', also 'slips' (shoots growing on the stem below the fruit) and 'suckers' (shoots growing in leaf axils lower down the stem) are formed, which can be used for vegetative propagation.


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The pineapple has its origin in South America where it was domesticated before the time of Columbus. In the 16th Century, the Spaniards took the pineapple to the Philippines and Peninsular Malaysia, and possibly also Indonesia. The crop is now widely grown throughout the tropics and into the subtropics. The international canning industry is based on plantations in Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and northern Sumatra as well as in Hawaii (USA), Brazil, Taiwan, South Africa, Kenya, Côte d'Ivoire, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Distribution Table

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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 Reference Notes


AngolaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 40,000 MT (F)
BeninPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 136,123 MT
CameroonPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 52,000 MT (F)
Central African RepublicPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 14,200 MT (F)
Congo, Republic of thePresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 3,000 MT (F)
Côte d'IvoirePresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 159,668 MT (F)
EswatiniPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 31,000 MT (F)
EthiopiaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 45 MT (*)
GabonPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 750 MT (F)
GhanaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 68,000 MT (F)
GuineaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 109,000 MT (F)
Guinea-BissauPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 350 MT (F)
KenyaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 429,065 MT (F)
LiberiaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 7,850 MT (F)
MadagascarPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 53,500 MT (F)
MauritiusPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 6,393 MT
MoroccoPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 0 MT (M)
MozambiquePresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 13,000 MT (F)
NigeriaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 900,000 MT (F)
RéunionPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 18,000 MT (*)
SeychellesPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 160 MT (F)
South AfricaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 146,869 MT
SudanPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 5,200 MT (F)
TogoPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 1,500 MT (F)
UgandaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 1,600 MT (F)
ZimbabwePresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 120 MT (F)


BangladeshPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 210,283 MT
BruneiPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 990 MT (F)
CambodiaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 16,000 MT (F)
ChinaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 1,402,060 MT (F)
IndiaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 1,305,800 MT
IndonesiaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 1,272,761 MT
IsraelPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 601 MT
JapanPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 10,400 MT (F)
MalaysiaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 319,130 MT
NepalPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 9,980 MT (F)
PhilippinesPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 2,209,336 MT
South KoreaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 1,050 MT (F)
Sri LankaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 52,180 MT
TaiwanPresentCABI Data Mining (Undated)
ThailandPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 2,278,566 MT
VietnamPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 470,000 MT (F)


PortugalPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 3,000 MT (F)

North America

Antigua and BarbudaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 210 MT (F)
BelizePresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 953 MT
Costa RicaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 1,624,568 MT
CubaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 55,387 MT
Dominican RepublicPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 100,528 MT
El SalvadorPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 8,625 MT
GuadeloupePresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 5,300 MT (F)
GuatemalaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 230,566 MT (F)
HaitiPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 4,500 MT (F)
HondurasPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 154,000 MT (F)
JamaicaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 20,351 MT
MartiniquePresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 18,000 MT (F)
MexicoPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 685,805 MT
NicaraguaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 51,000 MT (F)
PanamaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 40,546 MT
Puerto RicoPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 17,000 MT (F)
Saint Kitts and NevisPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 69 MT
Trinidad and TobagoPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 4,500 MT (F)
United StatesPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 172,500 MT (F)


American SamoaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 380 MT (F)
AustraliaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 164,732 MT (F)
Cook IslandsPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 25 MT (F)
Federated States of MicronesiaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 0 MT (A)
FijiPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 2,302 MT (F)
French PolynesiaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 3,000 MT (F)
GuamPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 0 MT (M)
Papua New GuineaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 20,000 MT (F)
SamoaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 4,600 MT (F)
Wallis and FutunaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 5 MT (F)

South America

ArgentinaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 3,300 MT (F)
BoliviaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 14,525 MT (F)
BrazilPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 2,491,974 MT
ColombiaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 436,044 MT
EcuadorPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 110,000 MT (F)
French GuianaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 1,800 MT (F)
GuyanaPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 1,301 MT (F)
ParaguayPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 73,000 MT (F)
PeruPresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 212,059 MT (F)
SurinamePresentFAO (2009)Pineapples production (2008) 300 MT

Biology and Ecology

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Growth and Development

The plant forms a rosette with gradually larger leaves up to a size that reflects the prevailing growing conditions. Thereafter leaf size remains constant and when the apical meristem has produced a total of 70-80 leaves, at the rate of one per week during periods of fast growth, it turns floral and the plant bolts: the central axis elongates to flower and fruit.

Pineapple is a xerophytic plant. Its photosynthetic pathway is the Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM). Carbon dioxide is absorbed during the night and converted into acids which are used in the daytime synthesis of carbohydrates. This pathway allows for the closure of stomata during the day to limit water use. The plant is very drought-resistant, but the root system is shallow so that under dry conditions growth quickly stagnates.

Sensitivity to daylength has been shown for the Cayenne group; the cultivars are quantitative but not obligate short-day plants. There is no evidence that cultivars in the other groups behave in the same way. Singapore Spanish in Malaysia flowers throughout the year and there are indications that low night temperature, low day temperature and a decrease in sunshine hours all hasten flowering.

Work with flower-inducing chemicals has helped to clarify the progress of floral development. The vegetative apex of the plant is dome-shaped with typical tunica-corpus organization. Counting from the day of application of flower-inducing chemicals, the apex starts to increase in height and width within 2 days, reaching a maximum in 8-14 days. Around the sixth day, the first bract primordia develop on the flanks of the meristem and flower buds subsequently develop in their axils. The initiation of the full complement of florets is completed after 30-45 days. The peduncle elongates rapidly around day 20 and after 45 days the inflorescence head is just apparent as a reddish disk in the centre of the plant. Further elongation of the peduncle carries the inflorescence head upwards to the level of the leaves. For up to 40 days peduncle elongation results from cell multiplication; after this period cell expansion predominates. The development of the young inflorescence into a fruit involves both cell division and enlargement for up to 80 days. Subsequently, size increases through cell enlargement.

The first flower opens about 50 days after induction and flowering continues for 20-40 days. About 1-10 flowers open daily, beginning shortly after midnight and closing the following evening. Anther dehiscence occurs in the evening before the petals begin to unfold. Pollen fertility varies from 20 to 80% and bees and sunbirds are the pollinating agents. The plant is self-incompatible; growing different cultivars together brings about seed formation. Therefore, in commercial cultivation, only one cultivar is grown in an area. As the fruit matures, up to 12 slips develop near its base. At the same time the terminal shoot on top of the fruit elongates into the crown. When the fruit matures one or two suckers develop, which produce the ratoon crop after the parent plant is chopped off at harvest.

Other Botanical Information

Many pineapple cultivars exist, differing in plant and fruit size, in the colour and flavour of the flesh of the fruit, and in the entire or spiny leaf margin. Nearly all cultivars for commercial production can be grouped as follows (each group indicated by the name of the cultivar from which it originated):

- Cayenne: most widely grown (the Philippines, Thailand, Hawaii, Kenya, Mexico, Taiwan). It is a heterozygous group; leaves 100 cm x 6.5 cm, reddish mottling above, silver grey beneath, margins entire, only with some spines at base and at top; fruit ca. cylindrical, weighing about 2.5 kg, flesh pale yellow to yellow.

- Queen: mainly grown in Australia and South Africa for the fresh fruit trade. All parts are smaller than in the Cayenne group; leaves spiny; fruits 0.9-1.3 kg, with deep golden yellow flesh.

- Red Spanish: mainly grown in Central and South America. It is intermediate in its characteristics between Cayenne and Queen. The leaves are long and spiny, containing fibres with high tensile strength, used traditionally for making cloth in the Philippines. Fruit weighing 0.9-1.8 kg, with pale yellow flesh.

- Singapore Spanish: only grown in Malaysia for the canning industry. Leaves about 1 m long, only some spines near apex; fruit 1.6-2.3 kg, with golden yellow flesh.

- Abacaxi: only grown in Brazil for local markets. Leaves with spiny margins. Fruits 1.5 kg with very pale yellow flesh.

- Cabezona: only grown in Puerto Rico for the fresh fruit trade. A triploid group.


Pineapple is cultivated between 25°N and S. The temperature range of growing areas is 23-32°C, although plants can be grown in areas where temperature drops as low as 10°C. However, the plant does not tolerate frost and the fruit is sensitive to sunburn. Crop duration increases substantially further away from the equator and at higher altitudes. Moreover, sensitivity to day-length has the effect of making the crop more seasonal at higher latitudes. Within the limits of its distribution the mean annual sunshine varies from about 33 to 71% of the maximum duration, with a mean annual value of 2000 hours. In Kenya it is grown at altitudes of 1800 m where fruits develop a sugar:acid ratio of 16:1, which is ideal for canning. At higher altitudes fruits become too acidic. The plants are tolerant to drought and a wide range of rainfall; 1000-1500 mm per annum is considered optimal. A well-drained sandy loam is preferred, with a high organic matter content and pH 4.5-6.5. However, plants can be grown over a wide range of soil types, such as the acid peats (pH 3-5) in Malaysia. Drainage should be perfect, because waterlogged plants quickly succumb to root rot.

Distribution References

CABI Data Mining, Undated. CAB Abstracts Data Mining.,

FAO, 2009. FAOSTAT Database., Rome, Italy: FAO.

Distribution Maps

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