Scientific Classification:

Kingdom Plantae
Unranked Angiosperms
Unranked Monocots
Order Poales
Family Bromeliaceae
Genus Ananas
Species A. comosus
Binomial name Ananas comosus

Other Common Names:

The other common names for pineapple are Ananas and Pina.


Pineapple got its name because of its appearance to that of a pine cone.History says that it was referred as anana meaning "excellent fruit in Tupi.The fruit which must be ripened on the plant contains about 15 percent sugar plus fruit acids, vitamins and minerals. Christopher Columbus is credited with discovering the pineapple on the island of Guadeloupe in 1493, although the fruit had long been grown in South America.

He called it piña de Indes meaning "pine of the Indians." South American Guarani Indians cultivated pineapples for food. They called it nanà, meaning "excellent fruit." Today the pineapple is the third most important fruit in tropical world production after bananas. Pineapples are the only bromeliad fruit in widespread cultivation. It is one of the most commercially important plants which carry out CAM photosynthesis.


The pineapple plant grows about 3 ft long which in its early stages gives rise to a rosette of evergreen, stiff, spiny edged dark green leaves.This during the months of summer sends up a 12 in cone shaped cluster of little purple flowers in yellowish bracts. These give rise to the well known pineapple fruit, a delicious, fleshy, juicy, swollen stem like structure (called a syncarp), usually red or yellowish in colour.

As individual fruits develop from the flowers they join together forming a cone shaped, compound,juicy, fleshy fruit to 12 in (30 cm) or more in height, with the stem serving as the fibrous but fairly succulent core. The tough, waxy rind, made up of hexagonal units, may be dark-green, yellow, orange-yellow or reddish when the fruit is ripe. The flesh ranges from nearly white to yellow. If the flowers are pollinated, small, hard seeds may be present, but generally one finds only traces of undeveloped seeds.


The pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a tropical plant and its fruit, native to Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay. Cultivated commercially in the tropics and parts of the subtropics of the Old and New Worlds, with Hawaii producing one-third of the world's crop.


It is generally found as a Houseplant or interiorscape; landscape in containers as tender plant. Pineapple should be grown in full sun if you expect to get fruit. Pineapples tolerate the reduced light of partial shade, and for the foliage effect, that amount of light may actually be better than full sun.


The land should be well prepared at the outset because the pineapple is shallow-rooted and easily damaged by post-planting cultivation. Fumigation of the soil contributes to high quality and high yields. For a pineapple plantation, soil should be thoroughly prepared, fertilized, fumigated, and paper laid down. Propagation is vegetative by slips from stalk under fruit, suckers from axils of leaves (these produce fruit more quickly), crowns, the rosettes at apex of fruit, or ratoons, the growth from underground stems. Remove the vegetative unit, allow to dry 1 or more weeks, and plant through hole in paper. Plants are spaced 25-45 cm apart in 0.6 m rows. Use of tar-paper or black plastic strips helps to eliminate weeds, conserve moisture, increase soil temperature and build up high nitrate in soil. Fertilization is normally practiced, amounts depending on natural soil fertility. Application of iron is necessary in areas of low pH (5.6-7). Since pineapples flower erratically, forcing of flowers is a common practice. This is done chemically by use of a plant hormone which induces flowering and subsequent fruiting. A drop in temperature of about 10°during the winter months probably initiates flowering Fruit size and total yield have been enhanced by applying chelated iron with nitrogen; also, where chlorosis is conspicuous, by accompanying nitrogen with foliar sprays of 0.10% iron and manganese.

Parts Used


The fruit, leaves and the stem are the most commonly used parts for its commercial and medicinal purposes.

Flowering Season

The stem elongates and enlarges near the apex and puts forth a head of small purple or red flowers, each accompanied by a single red, yellowish or green bract.

Pests and Diseases

The pineapple is more commonly attacked by mealy bugs and scale.The spider mites are very troublesome causing damage to the leaf bases especially during droughts infesting the slips.The other small pests include pineapple red scale.Fusarium spp. in the soil are the source of wilt.Plants during winter and where there is less air circulation a diseases called Black heart physiological disorder infests though not visible externally.Base rot is caused by the fungus Ceratocystis paradoxa, especially where drainage is poor.

Medicinal Applications

• It has been used to treat a number of medical problems, including heart disease, arthritis, and upper respiratory infections.


• The flesh of very young (toxic) fruits is deliberately ingested to achieve abortion also to expel intestinal worms; and as a drastic treatment for venereal diseases.

• Pineapple is healthy fruit, a good source of manganese, as well as containing significant amounts of Vitamin C.

• The dried, powdered root is a remedy for edema.

• The crushed rind is applied on fractures and the rind decoction with rosemary is applied on hemorrhoids.

• The leaf juice is used as a purgative, emmenagogue and vermifuge.

• Bromelain can effectively improve the digestion of proteins and other foods. It assists the body by enhancing the assimilation of herbs, vitamins and other nutrients.

•  Research demonstrates pineapple helps the body eliminate substances related to arthritis and triggers the release of a prostaglandin that tamps down inflammation.

Commercial Applications


• They are also eaten raw, dried, in confectionaries and a juice is extracted. Cores have been made into candles.

• The juice is the source of denatured alcohol and an alcoholic beverage, 'Vin d' Ananas'.

• Pressed peels and cores are used as food for livestock.

• It was also used to produce Indian wine.

• The flesh of larger fruits is cut up in various ways and eaten fresh, as dessert, in salads, compotes and otherwise, or cooked in pies, cakes, puddings, or as a garnish on ham, or made into sauces or preserves.

• Pineapple waste is made into vinegar.

• Leaves are a source of a hard fiber called 'Pina Fibre'.


According to the astro reports the pineapple fruit is governed by the planet Mars

Folklores and Myths

Folklore tells us sea captains would place a pineapple on their gatepost when returning from a journey, to let their neighbours know they were home. Even today the pineapple symbol is a familiar sight on plantations. Some bedposts even have removable hand carved pineapples on the top of them. The legend says that when a visitor had over stayed his welcome at a home the pineapples would be removed from the bedpost to tell him in a subtle way that it was time for him to be on his way.

Utilized by English political caricaturists during the Napoleonic Wars to symbolize high living and opulence, pineapple art motifs were carried to the New World by the Colonists to perpetuate the "friendship" and "welcome" image retained today. As early as 1492 Christopher Columbus found pineapple growing at Guadeloupe and carried it back to Spain to Queen Isabella. In 1640 the Chinese cultivated pineapple in Quantung, Klangsi, and Fuklien provinces, they called the fruit "Fam-polo-mie."

The myth on the origin of pineapples aims at fostering obedience to parents as a priority, and that parents ought to watch how they deal with their kids. Despite dogged efforts by European gardeners, it was nearly two centuries before they were able to perfect a hothouse method for growing a pineapple plant. Thus, into the 1600s, the pineapple remained so uncommon and coveted a commodity that King Charles II of England posed for an official portrait in an act then symbolic of royal privilege -- receiving a pineapple as a gift.

In the first instance they would hang pineapples and crowns outside the entrance to the huts as symbols of friendship and hospitality. This practise indicated welcome to friends. On the other hand, however, they would fortify their villages with spiky, pineapple hedges, a different message being sent out to enemies. The Spanish then adopted the friendship and hospitality symbol from the Caribbean Indians and pineapple designs were incorporated into wood and appeared on tables, chairs and chests. Pineapple designs became prominent on door lintels, appeared on canvas mats, sewn into tablecloths, carpets and draperies.