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Ananas comosus (pineapple)

Pineapple is a tropical plant widely cultivated for its distinctive fruits with their sweet yellow flesh and juice.
Ananas comosus (pineapple) fruit & leaves

Ananas comosus (Photo: Wolfgang Stuppy)

Species information

Scientific name: 

Ananas comosus (L.) Merr.

Common name: 

pineapple (English); piña (Spanish); abacaxi (Portuguese); annachi pazham (Tamil); nanas (Malaysian); ananas (many languages)

Conservation status: 

Widespread in cultivation.

Habitat: 

Unknown.

Key Uses: 

Food and drink, medicine, textiles.

Known hazards: 

Consumption of unripe fruit can cause irritation to the throat and act as a strong purgative; some people have a strong skin reaction (hives) after consumption of fresh pineapple.

Taxonomy

Subclass: 
Superorder: 
Lilianae
Order: 
Poales
Family: 
Bromeliaceae
Genus: Ananas

About this species

Ananas comosus is a seedless cultigen (a plant that has been altered by humans through a process of selective breeding). Because it has been in cultivation for thousands of years, its exact origins are unknown.

It is thought to be derived from bird-pollinated wild plants with seeds in Central and South America, perhaps from wild relative Ananas ananassoides, but further research is needed to confirm this. The Tupi-Guarani Indians of South America have been credited with its domestication, although this is in some dispute.

In the horticultural trade, many species and hybrids of Bromeliaceae are sold as indoor ornamentals, but pineapple is the only economically important plant in Bromeliaceae. The family also includes ‘air plants’ (epiphytes) such as Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) and blushing bride (Tillandsia ionantha). There are nine accepted species of Ananas.

Synonym: 

Bromelia comosa L., Bromelia ananas L., Ananas sativus Schult. & Schult.f. in J.J.Roemer & J.A.Schultes (full list of synonyms can be seen

Genus: 
Ananas

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