Feature #70 > April 4th, 2013 Journal Entry
Species: A. comosus
The Pineapple (Ananas comosus), named for its resemblance to the pine cone,1 is a tropical plant with edible multiple fruit consisting of coalesced berries,2 and the most economically significant plant in the Bromeliaceae family.3 Pineapples may be cultivated from a crown cutting of the fruit,4 possibly flowering in 20–24 months and fruiting in the following six months.45 Pineapple does not ripen significantly post-harvest.6
Pineapples are consumed both fresh and cooked, canned, or juiced, and are found in a wide array of cuisines including dessert, fruit salad, jam, yogurt, ice cream and candy—and as a complement to meat dishes. In addition to consumption, in the Philippines the pineapple’s leaves are used to produce the textile fiber piña- employed as a component of wall paper and furnishings, amongst other uses.
The word “pineapple” in English was first recorded in 1398, when it was originally used to describe the reproductive organs of conifer trees (now termed pine cones). The term “pine cone” for the reproductive organ of conifer trees was first recorded in 1694. When European explorers discovered this tropical fruit in the Americas, they called them “pineapples” (first so referenced in 1664 due to resemblance to what is now known as the pine cone).8
In the scientific binomial Ananas comosus, ananas, the original name of the fruit, comes from the Tupi word nanas, meaning “excellent fruit”,9 as recorded by André Thevet in 1555, and comosus, “tufted”, refers to the stem of the fruit. Other members of the Ananas genus are often called “pine”, as well, by laymen.
Many languages use the Tupian term ananas. In Spanish, pineapples are called piña “pine cone” in Spain and most Hispanic American countries, or ananá (ananás in Argentina) (see the piña colada drink). They have varying names in the languages of India: ananas (अननस)10 in Marathi, anaasa (అనాస) in Telugu, Sapuri-PaNasa (ସପୁରି ପଣସ) in Oriya language, annachi pazham (Tamil), anarosh (আনারস) (Bengali), and in Malayalam, kaitha chakka. In Malay, pineapples are known as nanas or nenas. In the Maldivian language of Dhivehi, pineapples are known as alanaasi. A large, sweet pineapple grown especially in Brazil is called abacaxi [abakaˈʃi]. Along the Swahili-speaking coast of East Africa, the fruit is known as nanasi.Read more