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LAnanasso (Ananas comosus - Ananas sativus L.) is a perennial bushy plant belonging to the Bromeliaceae family. It originates from Central America. It is grown, for food, ornamental purposes and for the production of certain types of fiber, in all tropical regions (mainly Ivory Coast, Costa Rica, Kenya) from where the fruits are exported.
Once the cultivation of pineapple in the greenhouse was widely practiced in Europe, especially in England, France, Belgium: so magnificent fruits were produced for local consumption, but of very high cost.
It has thorny rosette leaves, and bracted flowers gathered in an ear that ends with a tuft of leaves and in a central shoot. The fruit (called pineapple) is similar to a large pine cone, formed by the enlargement of the ear's spine and by its fusion with the fresh fleshy fruits of which the bracts remain externally.
Inside, the pulp is pale yellow with a fibrous heart.
Fruits of Ananas comosus or Ananas sativus (photo website)
Varieties and rootstocks
As with any plant grown for centuries and in different countries, the number of varieties is vast: they differ in thorny leaves or not, in the size and shape of the fruit, in the more or less sweet, more or less acidic taste. The most popular varieties are: Abaca, Black and Red Jamaica, Cayenne with or without thorns, Green and Red Ripley, Puerto Rico, Red Spanish.
Flower of Ananas comosus or Ananas sativus (photo website)
In some countries lananas are grown at sea level, in others up to considerable heights. It does not require deep soils (but they must be well drained) as the roots are superficial. It needs constantly hot weather and suffers from temperature drops. The plant multiplies by means of the rejections that are produced at the base or the shoots of the crown of the fruit.
Lananas is eaten fresh, especially with the addition of liqueurs, or in syrup (and by far the most consumed canned fruit in Europe). It is also used for the preparation of juices, jams and candied fruit.
The leaves of wild pineapples, and also of cultivated ones, are used for the production of fiber, which, according to the quality, is used for the manufacture of ropes and fabrics.