Family: Moraceae

Latin name: Artocarpus altilis

Vernacular name: Pandishu, pan de √°rbol

The white latex is put directly on the skin, often in several layers, to treat dislocations, twisted joints, fractures, and hernias. The resin may be mixed with other substances and plant material. The starchy pulp of the fruit is cooked and eaten. Cooked pulp is fermented with the aid of saliva and made into a beverage called “masato”. The cooked fruit is also excellent animal feed. Breadfruit is an important source of carbohydrates for floodplain communities when manioc or bananas are scarce. However, many people complain that it causes excess gas, and avoid eating it.

Breadfruit grows to be a large tree, but the broad canopy may be fairly light, allowing some crops to grow below it. The fruits fall when ripe, attracting rodents and pigs. The trees must be spaced at least eight meters apart if planted in rows, and due to shade, only a few of the trees should be cultivated in fields where other crops are important. Most farmers plant this species on the edges of fields and in homegardens. The tree regenerates easily in floodplain environments, and can be very common. One often sees large amounts of the fruit on the ground that are never utilized. Extensionists should look for ways to increase the use of the fruits from this productive tree.