Genus Breadfruit (Artocarpus) consists of around 60 species of evergreen tropical trees from the family Moraceae (mulberry family or fig family). They occur in South East Asia and the islands of the Pacific Ocean. Breadfruit are closely related to the Ficus (fig trees). The most cultivated breadfruit is Artocarpus altilis (Kolo, Rimas). Several other species like Artocarpus communis, Artocarpus integer (Cempedak), Artocarpus heterophyllus (Jackfruit, Nangka, Langka) and Artocarpus odoratissimus (Marang) are part of the breadfruit family as well.
In this article we will introduce you to the Marang (Artocarpus odoratissimus). It is an evergreen tree from the Borneo Island in Indonesia. However, it is widely grown for local markets in the surrounding countries of Malaysia, Thailand, and the Phillipines. It is known in local languages as Atau, Keiran, Loloi, Madang, Marang, Pi-ien, Pingan, Tarap, Terap, and Khanun Sampalor. This species is unknown outside the mentioned countries. In the wild, it occurs in sandy soil in forests at an altitude of around 1000m above sea level.
The Artocarpus odoratissimus tree grows to about 25 meter tall; and its leaves are around 16 to 50 cm long and 11 to 28 cm wide.
As it is monoecious, one plant is enough for the production of fruit. The fruit of these trees are green, of ovoid shape, 16cm long and 13cm wide, weighs around 1kg each and is consumed raw or cooked. Seeds should however always be cooked before eating.
The Breadfruit is a vital food type for people from South East Asia. The inside of the fruit is a snowy white, while the fruit itself is very sweet, fruity, aromatic, and smells like Durian (Durio, the most smelly fruit on the earth)
The best method for spreading the Marang Artocarpus odoratissimus is by seeds. Fresh seeds germinate well and sprouts appear within a week. However, the feasibility of seeds becomes worse after storing it for around three weeks. Therefore, seeds should be sown in sandy, well-drained soil as soon as they are harvested. Vegetative spreading is less successful and pests and diseases rarely attacks these trees.
Breadfruit is not frost tolerant. Due to its tropical origin the minimum temperature should not fall bellow 7 °C. In tropical or subtropical areas breadfruit can be grown in the garden, but should be kept in-house or in a greenhouse in areas where frost appears.
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