Even though pineapple is characterized under the realm of fruits, it grows quite differently than most fruits. The exotic, juicy tropical fruit has a slightly different growing mechanism.
If you take a closer look at the way pineapples grow, you’ll be surprised to note how this tropical fruit is formed from a cluster of hundreds of flowers.
Another surprising element you’ll discover is that each pineapple plant only bears one pineapple fruit at a time. Sounds strange?
Pineapples do not grow on trees. They grow on a plant closer to the ground, generally one or two feet above the soil’s surface. The pineapple fruit emerges from the center of a densely leafy plant. While most plants produce fruits in bulk, a pineapple plant only produces a single fruit at a time.
An herbaceous perennial, the tropical pineapple fruits belong to the Bromeliads family. Pineapples are often associated with the Hawaiian culture due to their popularity.
Many of us have had the misconception of pineapples being native to Hawaii. In reality, though, Pineapples are indigenous to South America and some parts of Africa.
Traditionally known as Ananas Comosus, pineapples are a tropical, edible fruit with an exotically sweet and succulent flavor.
Surprisingly, pineapples have no link to either the pine trees or apples, so why do we call them pineapples?
Well, the name pineapple was derived from the Spanish term ‘Pina’ as the rough texture of the fruit resembled the Pinecone, and the fruit had a sweet and succulent taste - just like the English apples. Hence, today we call the fruit pineapple.
Before we delve deeper into how pineapples grow, let’s take a look at the origination of the tropical fruit.
In the earlier days, dating back to the 17th century, pineapples were considered a symbol of wealth, signifying warmth and hospitality. They were not as widespread as we find them today, but rather, the Europeans grew them in greenhouses.
Even up until the 18th century, the huge masses were unfamiliar with this opulent fruit, which was only served on the tables of the riches in the European and American society.
However, tables for the fruit turned when the fruit found its way to Hawaii. Captain James Cook was the first person to introduce the fruit in Hawaii.
A few years later, the Dole Food company began canning pineapples and selling them to the masses. They were the leaders of the exotic fruit, producing almost 75% of the world’s production.
Fast forward today, the succulent and juicy flavor of pineapples is not alien to any of us. It has become quite a mainstream fruit and is readily available in all parts of the world.
One thing that we’re sure about now is that pineapples do not grow on trees.
Now let’s look at a few features which distinguish the plant from other fruit trees.
A pineapple plant is quite sturdy and compact, rising only a few meters above the ground. Comprising of stocky leaves spiraled around a central stem, the plant forms a rosette structure.
When the pineapple plant grows up healthy, the tapered cluster of leaves can extend to about 5 feet. But it can never take the form of a tree. Rather, pineapples grow on low-lying shrubs.
The sweet and juicy pineapple fruit grows from the center of a leafy plant. If you’ve ever tasted the pineapple fruit - you know how delectably juicy, sweet, and refreshing the fruit is. But if you happen to take a close look at a raw pineapple, it doesn’t look too tantalizing to the taste buds.
When completely ripe, pineapples transition from green to deep golden. The fruit has a quite rough textured rind with a crown holding long and thick spiky leaves of the fruit on the outside.
Did You Know?
Pineapples are made from a cluster of about 100 to 200 flowers. These flowers are fused together into a single, tough and sturdy, yet delectable fruit.
Have you ever seen a pineapple seed? Well, no, because it doesn’t exist. Then how do pineapples grow and propagate? Well, the procedure is slightly different from how most plants grow.
Since there are no seeds to help in the regrowth of the plant, the pineapple itself causes the growth of another pineapple.
Botanically speaking, the leaves of the pineapple plant extend to produce another pineapple plant.
The new pineapple plant usually extends from its mother plant. They can either be regrown by using the plantlets known as suckers. Suckers comprise the roots that hang from the bottom of the plant.
The stem of the fruit, which is called the slip can also be used in the propagation of the new pineapple plant.
You can even sow the crown of the pineapple fruit in the soil. The crown contains tiny roots which can grow to regenerate another pineapple plant.
Usually, growing pineapples requires substantial time, at least a year or two.
Once a pineapple plant matures, which usually takes around eight to ten months, it begins to produce flowers in the next stage. The flower stalk emerges from the central stem producing tiny purple flower tubes.
With time, the flower stalks elongate and extend above the leaves. After a few months, the flowers begin to fall off, and clusters’ structure begins to swell, gradually transitioning into a pineapple fruit.
Initially, you’ll notice a small green pineapple, but as the fruit matures, it changes color to a dark golden yellow shade. Not just the color but the aromatic fragrance of the pineapples also signals that the fruit is ready for harvest.
Having read through the history of pineapples and how they grow, it’s now clear to us that pineapples don’t grow on trees. Rather they follow a quite distinct growth mechanism.
If you want to explore more about the exotic fruit, read through our other blogs to find out interesting facts about pineapples and many other succulents.
If you are interested in learning more about pineapples, I know just the post for you. Head over and read our post that sheds light on whether pineapples are succulents.
My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!
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