Home | Garden Plants | Herbs_and_Spices | Medical plants | Aromatic Plants | Tropical Coast Shores | Site Map | Links


Artocarpus altilis Breadfruit Sukun Moraceae

Arthocarpus altilis, Breadfruit, Sukun


Arthocarpus altilis, Breadfruit, Sukun

Believed to be native to the Malay region and carried into the Pacific by colonizing Polynesians, this species has handsome foliage, with ascending branches bearing deeply incised leaves up to 30 in (75 cm) long of a fresh green shade.
It is fast growing in younger stages, old trees are not much taller but develop a rounded, bushy crown.
The flower spikes are inconspicuous, the female ones developing into yellowish green, tough-skinned, globular fruit with starchy flesh that is eaten after baking or boiling.
Cultivation: Edible-fruited species are cultivated in the wet tropics.
Propagation is from seed, or more commonly from root cuttings or aerial layers (marcotts), which perpetuate desirable clones.


The Bounty

What was the strange Bounty's mission ? and what was the origine of the mutiny ?
Slave holders in the West Indies found it difficult to feed their slaves. Their came a suggestion of possible relief and that was breadfruit, the inside of which could be a good substitute for bread.They send a naval vessel out to Tahiti to take a thousand or so young breadfruit plants to feed the West Indian slaves.
The Bounty small three masted ship, a large part was transformed into a "floating green house", with a special gardener and assistant in charge. One result of the scant space was that no room was available for any marines, who had the duty of guarding the officers. The command went to Lieutenant William Bligh .The Bounty with a crew of 47 sailed from Portsmouth on December 23, 1787 on a voyage to Taihiti where Captain Cook has found breadfruit plants. After 10 months of extremely tiring sailing though Atlantic and Pacific Ocean including a terrible storm on Cape Horn, new rooted to Cape good hope, and several struggle between Master mate Fletcher Christian and Captain Bligh who acted tyrannically with crew, the Bounty reached Taihiti. There Captain Bligh found he would have to wait 6 months before he could embark his cargo, so the crew enjoyed a wonderful life ashore on the island where seamen met native women. When the order was given to load up and embark there was little enthusiasm and many problems. The breadfruit plants need great quantity of water and captain decided to reduce crew's rations, Bligh tyranny was increasing ....
On 18th April 1789, the notorious mutiny broke out on board, led by Masters Mate Fletcher Christian and Midshipman Ned Young, Captain Bligh and 18 loyal members of his crew were set adrift off Tonga Islands in the ship's launch, with 150 pounds of biscuit, 20 pounds of salt meat, 120 liters of water, the ship's log, a compass and sextant. Against all odds with this crew, Captain Bligh reached the Island of TIMOR after a voyage of 3,500 miles lasting 42 days. The mutinous crew sailed to Tahiti where twentysix natives (nineteen women, six men and one baby) were taken on board. The members of the crew began to quarrel, so nine of them, afraid to be discovered and jailed, sailed away, leaving the other ones in Tahiti. Once again Christian was the leader. They wandered for over two months across the south Pacific, looking for an uninhabited island far from every known route. They routed to Cook Islands, Tonga, the eastern Fiji Islands, without meeting any safe place to settle down. Before losing hope, Christian remembered an old report by a Carteret, mentioning the Island of Pitcairn. They immediately rooted toward their "promised land" and reached it at the beginning of 1790, exactly on January, 15th. They unloaded the ship's provisions and then burned her. The descendants of Fletcher Christian and his fellows live in Pitcairn today. The Mutineers who elected to stay at Tahiti were sailed back to England and hanged.