1) Plant History & General Information:
- Location on Property: Garden L, Garden N
Scientific Name: Ananas comosus
- Region of Origin: Brazil and Paraguay
- General History: The name pineapple in English comes from the similarity of the fruit to a pine cone. The word was first recorded in 1398, where originally used to describe the reproductive organs of conifer trees (now termed pine cones). When European explorers discovered this tropical fruit that grows on trees, they called them “pineapples” (term first recorded in that sense in 1664) because they resembled what is now known as pine cones. The term “pine cone” was first recorded in 1694 to replace the original meaning of “pineapple”.
2) Plant Uses:
- As Food: A delicious fruit!
- As Medicine: “This delightful tropical fruit is high in the enzyme bromelain, and the antioxidant vitamin C, both of which plays a major role in the body’s healing process.” (1) Be careful bromelain can be hazardous to someone suffering from certain protein deficiencies or disorders, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Those with Hemophilia or with kidney or liver disease should not consume pineapples, as it may reduce the time taken to coagulate a consumer’s blood.
- “Bromelain is a natural anti-inflammatory that has many health benefits and encourages healing. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, bromelain is very effective in treating bruises, sprains, and strains by reducing swelling, tenderness, and pain. This powerful anti-inflammatory effect can also help relieve rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and reduce postoperative swelling. Additionally, the bromelain contained in fresh pineapple can relieve indigestion. This enzyme helps break down the amino acid bonds in proteins, which promotes good digestion. “(2)
- Some claim that it helps to induce childbirth when a baby is overdue. Pineapple is a good source of manganese (91 %DV in a 1 cup serving), as well as containing significant amounts of Vitamin C (94 %DV in a 1 cup serving) and Vitamin B1 (8 %DV in a 1 cup serving).
- “A study conducted at the State University of New York at Buffalo found that vitamin C can reduce your risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease. Besides increasing the ability of connective tissue to repair itself, vitamin C also increases the body’s ability to fight invading bacteria and other toxins that contribute to gum disease. Periodontal disease, which destroys gum tissue and underlying jaw bones, has been linked to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. “(3)
- Other Uses: Bromelain breaks down protein. Pineapple juice can thus be used as a marinade and tenderizer for meat. The enzymes in pineapples can interfere with the preparation of some foods, such as jelly or other gelatin-based desserts. The bromelain breaks down in the canning process, thus canned pineapple can generally be used with gelatin.
3) Growing Instructions
Growing: It takes 2 years for a Pineapple to mature to ripeness
- Best time to Harvest: The edible pineapples should omit a deliciously sweet fragrance when they are ripe. Hawaiian pineapples also turn yellow in color when they are ripe. Don’t pick or buy an under-ripe pineapple thinking you can ripen it some more at home like you can with bananas. The ripening process stops once the fruits are picked and therefore should only be picked once fully ripen.
- Sunlight Requirements: Full Shade, Partial Shade, Full Sunlight
- Soil Requirements: Plant the crown in an 8-inch porous pot using enriched potting soil with a blend of 30% organic matter. Press the soil firmly around the base of the crown and try not to get any soil in the leaves
- Propagation: Cutting, Division, Grafting, Seed, Separating
- From any pineapple, you can grow a pineapple plant. To do so cut off the crown (the leafy top) of the pineapples and strip a few of the leaves from the crown. Turn the crown upside down and let it dry for about a week until the cut end and the leaf scars have hardened. Put the crown in a glass of water or mason jar, changing the water every few days. Within a week you will see roots, after a few weeks when the roots are nice and long and the crown is ready to plant.
- Controlling Spread: NA
- Difficulties with this plant: Pineapple is a tropical plant and cold temperatures can slow grow and even severely damage pineapple plants.
History of this Plant at Hedonisia:
Pineapple had always been a part of Hedonisia’s landscape. When guests/community members consume pineapple, we inherit the bounty of the top for re-propagation around the property.
Green pineapple Smoothie:
1 cup frozen pineapple (you can cut pineapple and freeze yourself in plastic baggies or container)
2-4 pieces of kale
1 frozen banana
2-3 thick slices of cucumber
1 piece of celery
a light handful of ice
raw nut milk or fresh juice will taste best!
Place all ingredients and blend! pour into a cup, yum.
(1) , (2), (3) Monique N. Gilbert, B.Sc.
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