The New Student's Reference Work/Breadfruit Tree


Bread′fruit Tree, a native of southern Asia, of the islands of the South Pacific and of the Indian Archipelago.  It is now grown also in some of the West Indies.  Growing to a height of forty or fifty feet, it has large, dark-green leaves and a sphere-shaped fruit, about the size of a child’s head, weighing sometimes over four pounds.  The fruit is the main food of the natives of the South Sea islands.  It is covered with a rough rind, and the fruit when ripe is juicy and yellow.  It is better, however, before it is fully ripe.  When cut up and baked in an oven, it is mealy and nourishing.  In taste somewhat sweetish, it is more like a plantain than ordinary wheat bread.  When properly cooked, it will keep several weeks.  The South Sea natives beat it into a paste, which, slightly fermented, is somewhat sour, but a food they relish.  The breadfruit tree will produce two or three crops a year.  The wood is used for furniture, for building and for various purposes.