Artocarpus altilis (Parkinson ex F.A.Zorn) Fosberg

Last updated: 14 April 2015

Scientific Name

Artocarpus altilis (Parkinson ex F.A.Zorn) Fosberg


Artocarpus altilis var. seminiferus (Duss) Fournet, Artocarpus communis J.R.Forst. & G.Forst,. Artocarpus incisifolius Stokes [Illegitimate], Artocarpus incisus (Thunb.) L.f., Artocarpus incisus var. non-seminiferus Duss, Artocarpus incisus var. seminiferus Duss, Artocarpus laevis Hassk., Artocarpus papuanus Diels [Illegitimate], Artocarpus rima Blanco, Saccus laevis Kuntze [Unresolved], Radermachia incisa Thunb. [Unplaced] [Unresolved],   Sitodium altile Parkinson ex F.A.Zorn [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Sukun, kelor [2], sukin, kulur, kelur [3]
English Breadfruit [2][3]
China Mian bao guo, mian bao shu, mian bao guo shu [3]
India Kathal, mhanun (Hindi) [2]
Indonesia Sukun kelur, timbul [2]
Thailand Sa-ke, khanun-sampalor (Central) [2]
Philippines Rimas, kamansi [2]
Cambodia Sakee, khnaor samloo [2]
Vietnam Sake [2]
Japan Pannoki [3]
Denmark Brødfrugt, brødfrugttrae [3]
Netherlands Broodboom, broodvrucht [3]
Papua New Guinea Kapiak [2]
France Arbre a pain [2], brotfrucht, brotfruchtbaum, echter brotfruchtbaum [3]
Portugal Fruta-pão, pão de mas [3]
Spain Arbol del pan, castaña de malabar, fruta de pan, marure (Peru); mazapán (Honduras); pana de pepitas, pan de año, pan de ñame, pan de pobre, pan de todo el año (Venezuela) [3]
Sweden Brödfruktträd [3]
Italy Artocarpo, albero del pane [3].

Geographical Distributions

The exact origin of Artocarpus altilis is uncertain. The centre of genetic diversity extends from Indonesia to Papua New Guinea. In a broad sense, it is native to the Pacific and tropical Asia. It has long been an important staple food in Polynesia. It is now widely distributed throughout the humid tropics. [2]

A. altilis is a species of the wet tropics, preferring hot (temperature 20-40°C) and humid (rainfall 2000-3000 mm, relative humidity 70-90%) climate. The latitudinal limits are approximately 17°N and S; the maritime climate of small islands allows growth to 20-23°N. The tree is occasionally found in the highlands (up to 1500 m) and at higher latitudes. The trees also grow on shallow coralline soils of the atolls and in New Guinea, they are found at the forest edge in floodplains and swamps. [2]

Botanical Description

A. altilis is a member of the family Moraceae [1] [2]. It is a monoecious tree, up to 30 m tall, evergreen in the humid tropics and semi-deciduous in monsoon climates [2].

It has a straight trunk, 5-8 m tall, 0.6-1.8 m in diametre and is often buttressed. The trunk of this clonally propagated tree has low branches. The spreading twigs are very thick with pronounced leaf, stipule scars and lenticels. The buds are 10-20 cm long and covered with big conical keeled stipules. [2]

The leaves are arranged alternately, ovate to elliptical in outline, measuring 20-60(-90) cm x 20-40(-50) cm and undivided when young. The older leaves are entire or deeply pinnately cut into 5-11-pointed lobes, thick, leathery, dark green and shiny above while pale green and rough below. The petiole is 3-5 cm long. [2]

The inflorescence is axillary with peduncles 4-8 cm long. The male inflorescences are drooping, club-shaped, measuring 15-25 cm x 3-4 cm, spongy and yellow while the female inflorescences are stiffly upright, spherical or cylindrical, measuring 8-10 cm x 5- 7 cm, green, with numerous flowers embedded in a receptacle, tubular sepal, 2-celled ovary, narrow style and 2-lobed stigma. [2]

The fruit is a syncarp formed from the entire inflorescence, cylindrical to spherical, 10-30 cm in diametre and with yellow-green rind. It is reticulately marked with 4-6-sided faces but sometimes bearing short spines. A large central core is surrounded by numerous abortive flowers which form a pale yellow juicy pulp that is the edible portion of the fruit. [2]


Rain apparently stimulates extension growth, flowering and the rate of growth of the fruit. However, yield and fruit quality suffer in cooler conditions and the tree is more at home in the equatorial lowlands (below 600 m altitude). [2]

The young trees grow better under shade but later, full sun is required. Tree growth is best on deep, well-drained, moist alluvial soils rich in humus. The trees shed their leaves under dry conditions and fruit when the soil is excessively wet. Hence, yield may be depressed on marginal soils. Cultivars differ greatly in their tolerance of adverse conditions; there are cultivars that cope well with shallow calcareous soils, brackish water and salt sprays, annual rainfall of only 1500 or 1000 mm, etc. [2]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing



Figure 1: The line drawing of A. altilis (Parkinson ex F.A.Zorn) Fosberg [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Artocarpus altilis (Parkinson ex F.A.Zorn) Fosberg[homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 26; cited 2015 Apr 15]. Available from:
  2. Rajendran R. Artocarpus altilis (Parkinson) Fosberg. In: Verheij EWM, Coronel RE, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 2: Edible fruits and nuts. Wageningen, Netherlands: Pudoc Scientific Publishers; 1991. p. 83-86.
  3. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research. Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Volume 1. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR; 2002. p.86.