While pineapple is commonly referred to as a fruit, the truth is actually a little more complicated. The plant is a fruited bromeliad, with a central stem that is covered with hundreds of small flowers. As the flowers mature, they become plump with juice and pulp, producing what is generally known as the pineapple fruit. The scientific name ananas comosus, is a melding of nana which refers to fragrance and comosus which refers to the appearance of long hair created by the silhoutte of the leaves.
Fun Facts About the Pineapple Plant:
- The popular name for the pineapple came about due to its resemblance to a pine cone, and the sweet taste that reminded Spanish explorers of the apple. The name is actually a combination of the Spanish “pina” and the English “apple”.
- Pineapple plants are only used by commercial growers for up to three years. This is because over time the flowers dwindle in number and size, producing smaller fruits.
- While people think of pineapples and Hawaii as sharing a long history, the truth is that the plant was not introduced to the Islands until 1813. The first exports of canned pineapple took place in 1892, followed by James Dole establishing a pineapple plantation there in 1900.
More Info: faculty.ucc.edu/biology-ombrello/pow/pineapple.htm
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