We know it seems like a crazy question, but are pineapples fruit or flowers?
Originating from South America, the pineapple is part of the bromeliad tropical plant family. Interestingly, it is the only available member of this family which is edible. Pineapples also contain an extract called bromelain which induces feelings of wellbeing and has a history of medicinal uses.
Throughout history, pineapples have acquired various symbolic meanings. In the 17th century, Christopher Columbus brought the first pineapples to Europe. They were seen as an exotic rarity (pineapples take approximately 12- 24 months to grow) only available to royals and the very wealthy. As time elapsed, pineapples became symbolic of hospitality and warm welcome, as hosts would often place a pineapple in the middle of their table to welcome guests to their home.
How are pineapples formed?
Contrary to popular belief, they do not grow on trees! The exotic fruit actually comes from a flowering plant. Pineapple plants can grow to approximately two meters tall and one meter wide and, like their skin, are often quite prickly. Interestingly, pineapple plants grow from the leafy tops of the fruit. Simply cut the crown off the top of the fruit and place it in soil.
Once planted the crown of the fruit forms roots and begins to grow new, leafy green foliage. The new plant will then start to flower small flowerets which will form in the middle of the foliage and rise. At first, the flowerets have red and pink tones before finally turning yellow once ripe. One pineapple is made up of dozens of individual flowerets that grow together to form the entire fruit. Each scale is evidence of a separate flower. Pineapple plants are best suited to hot climates and cultivation in pots as they do not have a large root system and need a free drainage system.
Fun fact: once picked, pineapples immediately stop ripening!
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