Breadfruit Tree in Tropical Greenhouse

Garden scientist Nyree Zerega shows us the breadfruit tree we have planted in the Tropical Greenhouse at the Chicago Botanic Garden and talks about her research to find the relatives of this under-utilized plant. Then Mary McLaughlin from Trees That Feed tells us about her work to feed hungry people by planting these trees in tropical regions. For more information on Dr. Zerega’s research, click here. For more information on the Trees That Feed Foundation, visit

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Julie McCaffrey

Julie McCaffrey is media relations manager at the Chicago Botanic Garden and is responsible for promoting the Garden's programs and events through traditional and social media. Julie holds a B.A. in English from Northern Illinois University and an M.S. in Communications from Northwestern University.

11 thoughts on “Breadfruit Tree in Tropical Greenhouse”

  1. breadfruit is not a fruit is a vegetable, called PANA is grown in puerto rico, i grew up eating this we grew pana in everyones houses properties in Puerto Rico only.

    We boil it and eat it as a vegetable with salt cod fish and olive oil with raw onion. We smash and Fry it like tortilla and chips. This is a vegetable grown in Puerto Rico I grew up eating this for lunch every day like potato, yautia. name, sweet potatoes are grown in ground and are roots. PANA is growned in trees but is by no means a fruit it’s a vegetagle
    Luz Maria Lozada born and race in the island of Puerto Rico loves PANAS.

    1. Thanks for your comment. Those are all delicious ways to enjoy Artocarpus altilis (breadfruit). It is a popular tree in Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean. It is often prepared like a vegetable as you describe, but it is indeed a fruit as it develops from the flower. It is actually what is technically referred to as a multiple fruit or syncarp, as the structure actually develops from multiple, separate, tiny flowers. Interestingly, in Oceania, where breadfruit was domesticated, there are hundreds of cultivars, many of which are sweet and prepared more like a fruit. Only a very small number of cultivars were ever introduced to the Caribbean.

  2. my husband is from the caribbean and i would like to fix him some breadfruit here. i especially like breadfruit coocoo served in barbados. where can i find breadfruit in the western area of chicago and suburbs?

  3. I am an Agronomist about to commence my Ph D and i would like to work on Artocarpous altilis.
    In view of this i need to know some agronomic problems which is needed to be solved. The crop is not yet popular in Nigeria where i come from and also reside.

  4. Hello, I lived in Jamaica and had some beautiful breadfruit growing on our land and loved eating them. I live in Georgia now and plan on setting up a few greenhouses. One of them I want to try and grow all tropical plants. I would love to try my hand at growing breadfruit but I know they grow very big. If I can acquire some seeds do you think it’s possible to keep it cropped down so as not to grow to big yet still produce fruit? Thank you

    1. Although I have no direct experience propagating a breadfruit tree in a greenhouse, I have seen several breadfruits growing in greenhouses throughout the world. I have never observed any infloresences or fruits on them. You could try pruning, but you would still need to give the tree plenty of space. There is a “shorter” seedless variety (growing to about 10m tall) that you can purchase from Global Breadfruit. It is called Ma’afala. You could give it a try. In general, pruning should be limited to the removal of dead branches, but trees are often topped off to make it easier to reach and harvest fruits. However, the new shoots and branches are often brittle and readily break. Here is more information about breadfruit care.

      1. Thanks Nyree for your quick reply. I had checked on Global Breadfruit earlier but it looks like they only sell to organizations and I’m just an individual interested in growing in my own greenhouse. I’ll continue to look tho, thanks again!

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