Biology

Pineapple belongs to the Bromeliaceae family. Members of this ecologically interesting group have adapted to life in hot and dry climates. Even in a ground plant like pineapple (most of the bromeliads are epiphytes), there are some signs of this adaptation, these are:

  • stomata specially adapted to prevent water loss
  • optimum recovery of minimum precipitation
  • absorption of water and mineral elements by leaves
  • relative fragility of root system
  • crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) - a special way of absorbing CO2 common in plants adapted to arid conditions

Pineapples can survive periods of drought thanks to CAM. This ability was a key factor in the pineapple’s successful dispersion around the world.

It is relatively easy to propagate pineapples under cultivated conditions. The top of the pineapple can be planted in soil and a new plant will grow. Slips and suckers are planted commercially.

Pollination is required for seed formation. However, seeds are unwanted, just like in bananas or grapes. In Hawaii, where pineapple is cultivated on an agricultural scale, the import of hummingbirds is prohibited to reduce pollination.

In commercial farming, flowering can be induced artificially, and early harvesting of the main fruit encourages a second crop of smaller fruits to develop.

Share this