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Jak, Nangka

Syn.: Artocarpus brasiliensis Ortega, Artocarpus integrifolius auct., Artocarpus maximus Blanco, Artocarpus nanca Noronha, Artocarpus philippensis Lam.

Family: Moraceae

Artocarpus heterophyllus

Description: Artocarpus heterophyllus is a tropical tree known for its large, glossy green leaves, which are ovate and deeply lobed. Its fruits are the largest tree-borne fruits in the world, with a spiky exterior and sweet, yellow, fibrous flesh inside, containing numerous edible seeds. The tree bears small, greenish-yellow flowers that grow directly on the trunk or large branches. Its bark is rough and grayish-brown, with shallow furrows and ridges. Jackfruit is valued for its versatile uses, including as a culinary ingredient in various dishes, a source of timber for construction, and its latex for medicinal purposes and as an adhesive.

Artocarpus heterophyllus

Artocarpus heterophyllus

Substitutions: Artocarpus altilis (breadfruit) – shares some similarities with jackfruit in terms of its tree structure and fruit appearance, although the fruits are smaller and have a different texture. Durio spp. (Durian) – which also belongs to the same family as jackfruit and offers a distinctive flavor profile, albeit with a strong odor that some find off-putting.

Artocarpus heterophyllus

Artocarpus heterophyllus

Ecology: Jackfruit thrives in tropical climates with warm temperatures, high humidity, and abundant rainfall, while requiring well-drained, fertile soil rich in organic matter and essential nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.

Artocarpus heterophyllus

General Distribution: Widely distributed throughout tropical regions of South and Southeast Asia, including countries such as India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Artocarpus heterophyllus

Artocarpus heterophyllus

Artocarpus heterophyllus

Author of text and photos: Chanduni Bootawatta.

Photographed Kandy, Sri Lanka on 29/02/2024.

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