The breadfruit tree is only suitable for the warmest gardens, but if you have the right climate for it you can enjoy this tall, tropical tree that produces tasty and nutritious fruits. If you do have the conditions for this tree, there are many different varieties of breadfruit from which you can choose for your yard or garden.
Types of Breadfruit for the Home Garden
Breadfruit is a tree native to the Pacific islands but can be cultivated and grown naturally in very warm climates, like South Florida or the Caribbean. In addition to growing it as a large landscape element, breadfruit can be grown for food. It produces more food than most other plants. The fruit is used in ways similar to potatoes: fried, boiled, or baked.
There are hundreds of different breadfruit trees, so if you are looking to grow this tree, you have a lot of options for variety. Breadfruit types can be broadly categorized as seeded or seedless, but there are many other differences, including leaf shape, fruit size, and time of ripening.
The different breadfruit trees largely developed naturally, but many were also several cultivated varieties. The National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii is working to conserve many of the hundreds of varieties and to save them from extinction through neglect and disease. These are just a few of the different types of breadfruit:
Aravei. This cultivar produces large fruits, between 8 and 12 inches (10 and 30 cm.) long with a yellow to green rind. The skin is spiky, but these sharp points drop as the fruit ripens. The flavor of the yellow pulp is considered among the best, and the pulp does not take long to cook. This is a seeded variety.
Havana. The Havana variety has a sweeter and desirable flavor, but the fruits are perishable. Once picked, they need to be eaten within a couple of days. They cook quickly and are considered to be among the most desirable of breadfruits. Havana is a seeded variety.
Maohi. Maohi is the most common type of breadfruit that grows in Tahiti. It produces a round fruit, smaller than other varieties, but it also produces a large quantity of fruit. The flavor is good and the texture smooth. It cooks slowly.
Paea. This variety produces large fruits, growing to 11 inches (28 cm.) long and is seeded. The pulp is a bright yellow color and takes about an hour over even heat to cook. The pulp flakes when cooked and has a good flavor.
Pucro. Pucro is highly regarded and considered to be one of the best breadfruits. It produces a rough-textured, yellow-green fruit with a smooth, yellow pulp. It cooks quickly and has one of the finest flavors.
Your choice of breadfruit may depend on what is available, but if you have access to several breadfruit varieties, you can select a tree based on fruit size, texture, flavor, and other factors.