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Characteristics of Breadnut Tree (Artocarpus camansi) in the Wild

Breadnut Tree (Artocarpus camansi)

Breadnut (Artocarpus camansi) is a medium-sized tree species in the Moraceae family. It originates from New Guinea, the Maluku Islands, and the Philippines.

Artocarpus camansi is the ancestor of the Wild Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) and is also sometimes known as the Seed Breadfruit, to differentiate it from its mostly seedless descendants. Breadnut fruit can be eaten when cooked. The large seeds can also be roasted and eaten.

Artocarpus camansi was first described in Flora de Filipinas. Según el Sistema Sexual de Linneo (1837) by Spanish monk and botanist Francisco Manuel Blanco.

Other common names for Artocarpus camansi include Kluwih or Timbul (Indonesia), Sukun Biji (Malaysia), Kos-del or Gamasi (Makassarese), Chataigne (French and Spanish), and Breadfruit (England).

Artocarpus camansi is described as having “high nutritional value but is an underutilized food source”. Although not commonly eaten, breadnuts are an important crop in New Guinea, as breadnuts are a staple crop.


Usually, breadnuts are consumed when they are still immature, thinly sliced ​​pieces are boiled in soup. In the Philippines (along with jackfruit and antipolo) it is usually cooked with coconut milk and spices and eaten as ginataang kamansi. The seeds also have economic value in the Caribbean, Central, and South America because they taste like chestnuts. The seeds can be roasted, boiled, canned, or processed into paste, butter, flour, or oil.


Characteristics of Breadnut Leaf

Artocarpus camansi Leaf
Source: Sébastien SANT

The leaves are large, 40-60 cm long and 25-45 cm wide, and have pinnate lobes.

Characteristics of Breadnut Flower

Artocarpus camansi Flower
Source: Sébastien SANT

Breadnuts are monoecious, male and female flowers are found at the ends of the branches. Each male flower has two anthers and is club-shaped. Thousands of individual male flowers are grouped in 3 cm diameter and 25-35 cm long flowers.

Characteristics of Breadnut Fruit

Artocarpus camansi Fruit
Source: Sébastien SANT

The fruit is round, weighs around 800g, is 16-20 cm long and 8-15 cm wide with a greenish-yellow color and each adult tree can produce 600 to 800 fruits per year.

When the fruit is ripe, the inside of the breadnut fruit is pale white with a sweet taste and aroma. The fruits are mostly seeds and the number of seeds per fruit ranges from 12-150 per fruit with a mass of around 7-10g per seed.

Characteristics of Breadnut Tree

Artocarpus camansi Tree
Source: Kaewta Tam In

Breadnut trees can usually be found in tropical environments along lowlands at an altitude of 0-1,550 m above sea level, on the banks of stagnant rivers, and in freshwater swamps. This tree grows best in an annual temperature range of 15-40 °C in deep, well-drained soil with neutral to alkaline soil acidity.

Artocarpus camansi or Breadnut is most likely endemic to New Guinea, the Maluku Islands, and the Philippines. The unclear origins of this tree are due to the spread and domestication of various species of breadfruit, including Artocarpus camansi, along with the spread of Austronesian sailors from island to island in the Pacific. Artocarpus altilis, is believed to be a descendant of the domesticated Artocarpus camansi which has been selectively bred by Polynesians and is largely seedless.

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