|The genus Ananas belongs to the Bromeliad family (Bromeliaceae).
It is best known for the species Ananas comosus, the
This genus originated in Mesoamerica and was brought to
the Caribbean Islands by the Carib natives. The oldest
register with the representation of the fruit seems to be
included in the Cascajal Block, attributed to the Olmec
In 1493, Christopher Columbus first saw plants of this
genus in Guadeloupe. It was brought to Europe, and from
there was distributed to the Pacific Islands by the Spanish
and the English. Commercial pineapple plantations were
established in Hawaii, the Philippines, Southeast Asia,
Florida and Cuba. The pineapple has become one of the
world's most popular fruits.
The tough leaves grow in large rosettes, arising basally
from a crown. These leaves are long and lanceolate with a
serrate or thorny margin. The flowers, arising from the
heart of the rosette, each have their own sepals. They grow
into a compact head on a short, robust stalk. The sepals
become fleshy and juicy and develop into the well-known
complex form of the pseudo carp fruit, crowned by a rosette
Ananas species are used as food plants by the larvae of
some Lepidoptera species including Batrachedra comosae,
which feeds exclusively on A. comosus.
The word Ananas is derived from the Guarani name for the
pineapple, via Portuguese. In many languages, pineapple is
Pineapples contain both bromelain and papain to which it
owes its meat tenderizing properties.
The fruit and roots are used by some peoples as
anti-inflammatory, proteolytic agent, and a root decoction