Tuesday, July 28, 2020
- The pineapple plant (Ananas comosus) is a tropical fruit that is native to South America. It originally came from the area between southern Brazil and Paraguay.
- Pineapples spread throughout South America, the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico, where they were cultivated by the Maya and the Aztecs.
- Pineapple plants are part of the Bromeliaceae family, which means they are a species of bromeliad!
- The pineapple plant produces over 200 flowers on a stalk that rises from the center of the plant. Each flower is pollinated separately and forms a small scale-like fruit. The individual scales join to create the pineapple.
- In the wild, hummingbirds and bats pollinate pineapple flowers. In commercial cultivation, pineapples are hand-pollinated to reduce seed production.
- An individual pineapple fruit can take over two years to grow! After harvesting, the tops of the fruits can be planted in soil to grow more pineapple plants.
- Pineapple fruit and juice are used in many cuisines worldwide. Raw pineapple can be a great source of manganese and vitamin C, and it contains an enzyme called bromelain that aids in digestion and acts as an anti-inflammatory.
- Raw pineapple juice is often used as a meat marinade and tenderizer because its high bromelain content breaks down proteins.
About the Artist
Donnamarie Richmond is an Education Programs Assistant at Naples Botanical Garden. She is a (mostly) self-taught artist who loves to paint what she finds in nature. She often finds inspiration after climbing a tree or swimming in the sea!