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ANANAS comosus

Image of Ananas comosus

Felder Rushing

Family

Bromeliaceae

Botanical Name

ANANAS comosus

Plant Common Name

Pineapple

General Description

Who doesn’t love sweet, juicy pineapple? This popular fruit has been long cultivated in hot spots like Southeast Asia, Costa Rica and Hawaii. Believed to have originated from Brazil, pineapple had already been grown and selected by indigenous Americans before Europeans arrived in the 15th Century. Today no wild form is known, but many variable selections exist that differ in flavor quality, vigor and fruit size. Some have even been developed for their ornamental appeal.

Ananas comosus is a terrestrial bromeliad that forms a rosette of coarse, spiny, evergreen leaves with offsets produced at the base of the parent plant. When mature, the central rosette gives rise to a tall thick stem bearing a large oval cluster of spiny bright red flowers topped with a plume of coarse, dense foliage. The blooms are followed by the huge oval composite fruits that we call pineapples. The fruit's exterior resembles that of a pine cone, hence the name, and has thick leathery amber green skin which protects the sweet golden flesh within.

Some cultivars are grown for their ornamental appeal. For example, the variety variegatus has variegated pale yellow, green and pink leaves that are colorful and interesting. Spineless forms have also been selected.

Pineapple needs full to nearly full sun and well-drained, highly organic, acid soil. It is tough and will tolerate some wind, salt spray and drought. High humidity is not required for good growth. Full sun promotes faint pink blushing on the leaves. Rosettes die after flowering and fruiting, perpetuating themselves by offsets (called pups) at their base. Leave the pups when cutting back the dead mother plant.

Most pineapples are plantation grown, but they also make striking container plants for a patio or sun room and will thrive as landscape specimens in balmy tropical climates. They can overwinter outdoors in southern California and Florida, if grown in protected microclimates.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 24

  • Plant Type

    Fruit

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m

  • Width

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin, South America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Rosette/Stemless

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Red

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow Green, Gold

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edible, Feature Plant, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Houseplant, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    No