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BREADFRUIT Portfolio

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​SOME INTERESTING NOTES:
In 1789, the infamous story of Captain Bligh and "The Mutiny on the Bounty" centered around the search for a cheap, high energy food source to feed British slaves.   Each breadfruit tree can produce up to 150 grapefruit-sized fruits per year.  The HMS Bounty remained in Tahiti for five months stocking over a thousand breadfruit plants before eventually setting sail into history.  

Pacfic Islanders used breadfruit tree bark to make tapa paper and worked its valuable termite-resistant wood into canoe outriggers and building materials.

A globally-minded horticultural company, Cultivaris, is now working with the Samoan government and Hawaii's National Tropical Botanical Gardens on a larger effort to use breadfruit trees to empower people to feed themselves and their families.

In 2012, scientists from the USDA Agricultural Research Service and the University of British Columbia identified three breadfruit compounds (capric, undecanoic and lauric acids) that act as natural insect repellents more effective than DEET.



                                  A selection of breadfruit photographs.

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The Northwestern New Guinea BREADFRUIT (Artocarpus Altilis) is truly an wonderful, amazing plant.   Growing up in Hawaii, I saw breadfruit trees growing everywhere and admired their distinctive leaf shapes used in island fabric designs.  The breadfruit is a species of flowering tree in the mulberrry family, Moraceae.  The prehistoric Lapita people and the ancient Polynesians descendants used the tasty breadfruit as a staple in their diet. When cooked, the breadfruit has a freshly baked bread-like texture and a potato-like flavor.   


Breadfruit trees still grow everywhere in Hawaii.   Most varieties are seedless, so growing them is a little tricky.  The National Tropical Botanical Garden botanist Diane Ragone collected specimens over twenty years and established the world's largest collection of breadfruit trees, over 120 different varieties, outside of Hana on the Hawaiian Island of Maui.   Dr. Susan Murch, a scientist from the University of British Columbia, began to successfully clone the breadfruit in 2003.  Thanks to the historic efforts of botanist Ragone and Dr. Murch, the breadfruit will continue to be a part of our culture.