School Science Lessons
2018-06-13
Please send comments to: J.Elfick@uq.edu.au

Pineapple Project

Pineapple

Table of contents
Preface
1.0 Pineapple project
2.0 Plant parts
3.0 Soils
4.0 Leaves
5.0 Roots
6.0 Flowering and forcing
7.0 Planning
8.0 Planting material
9.0 Selecting
10.0 Planting
11.0 Growing
13.0 Fertilizers
13.1 Boron
14.0 Pests
15.0 Weeds
16.0 Improving production
16.1 Pineapple varieties
19.2.9.1 Jelly
Bromelain
12.0 Keep records
6.20.0 Records


1. To improve pineapple production pay attention to the following:
1.1 Know how to choose better planting material
1.2 Take care with weeding and stopping pests and diseases
1.3 Giving pineapples enough fertilizers of the right kind
1.4 Handle fruit carefully

2. Before you begin the project, make sure that you have the following materials:
2.1 digging tools, spades,
2.2 hoes for weeding and shaping beds,
2.3 fertilizers, as recommended by local agricultural officer,
2.4 chemicals for killing mealy bugs, as recommended by local agricultural officer
2.5 flower-inducing chemicals or plant hormones, e.g. NAA, as recommended by the local agricultural officer,
2.6 weedicides, as recommended by local agricultural officer

1.0 Introduction to the Pineapple Project
Pineapple (Ananas comosus), evergreen, perennial herb, fast growing, fruit, large, yellow-orange, juicy, sub-acid, used fresh
canned, juice, propagation from ratoons, suckers, slips, crown, tuft of leafy bracts on the fruit, raphides, furfurol, n-valeric acid,
vanillin, Tropical America, Bromeliaceae
Bring a pineapple into the classroom
1. Show a ripe pineapple fruit
Cut it into small pieces and taste it

2. The scientific name for the pineapple plant is Ananas comosus
Pineapples are in the botanical family Bromeliaceae, genus Ananas, species comosus
Ananas is modified from the original South American name for the plant "nana", meaning fragrance
The species name "comosus" means "long hair"
Pineapples are terrestrial herbs with very short stems bearing rosettes of long narrow leaves that may have spines
The flowers of the dense terminal inflorescence stick together so that a fruit called a syncarp forms
Above the inflorescence the main axis keeps growing to form a terminal crown of leaves
The original pineapples from South Brazil and Paraguay spread to Central America and in the 16th century were taken to Asia and
Africa by explorers
Pineapples were introduced to the Pacific region in the 19th century
When Christopher Columbus brought the first pineapple to Spain in 1493, the Spanish thought it resembled a pine cone and called it
Pine (pina), of the Indies
The English called it an apple because of its taste
So the name "pineapple" is Spanish and English
Commercial production in order of amounts grown is as follows: Hawaii, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Nigeria, South Africa,
Kenya, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaya, Australia

3. Pineapples as food
Pineapples are high in sugar content
When mature the yellow flesh of the fruit has 10 to 18% sugar and 0.5 to 1.6% acid
The main food value is as a protective food because pineapple contains useful amounts of vitamins A, B and C
Pineapples can be eaten as fresh ripe fruit, peeled, sliced, cored and put into cans, crushed to make pineapple juice, used in cooking
In some areas a pineapple wine is fermented
Pineapples also contain bromelain, from the stem and juice, a mixture of protein digesting and milk clotting enzymes
Bromelain is used commercially as a meat tenderizer and may be used to treat indigestion and reduce inflammation, e.g bromelain tablets to treat black eye.

4. Add pineapple juice to milk
The milk protein begins to coagulate and degrade as it reacts with the bromelain
Pineapple juice will also remove the gelatine emulsion surface on black and white photographic film!

5. Pineapples will grow quite well on soils that are not very rich, but they grow better if given some fertilizers
Pineapple plants can keep living through dry times
Tops cut off fruit can be kept alive in the shade of a dry room for nearly a year

6. A moderate rainfall of 1000 to 1500 mm is preferred for best growth, but pineapples grow well in heavier rainfall conditions,
provided the soil is well drained and the area frost free
The best environmental conditions are cool nights and sunny days

2.0 Plant parts
| See diagram 60.2: Pineapple plant parts
| See diagram 9.100.3: Pineapple fruit- coalesced berries
The pineapple plant is a herbaceous perennial that grows to 1.5 m high and 1 m wide with a rosette of leaves around a terminal bud
The sword-shaped leaves are long and pointed, arising in a rosette from a short stem
Each leaf ends in a sharp spine and some cultivars have leaves with spiny margins
The terminal bud produces a flowering stem that becomes an inflorescence of red purple flowers attached by a leaf-like pointed bract
The pineapple has no seeds because they develop fruit even if not pollinated and pineapple cannot self-pollinate
Some wild pineapples do have seeds
The pineapple fruit is a coalesced multiple fruit formed from the fusion of over 100 fruitlets embedded in an edible stem
The ovary of each flower becomes a berry so all the berries squash together to form a single structure
The tough waxy skin contains what remains of the pointed bracts and the flowers
Dried herb is sold as pineapple fruit chips

1. The plant consists of a main shoot and several side shoots
The main shoot keeps growing straight up
A shoot consists of a shoot apex or growing part and a stem
The shoot apex, the "growing point", it is always growing upwards and never dies
The fruit is formed in the stem when the shoot apex makes a flower bud instead of a leaf bud
In the angle between the leaves and the stem are buds called axillary buds
These buds may grow out into side shoots, suckers or slips
The lower buds may grow into roots

The phyllotaxy of the flowers and fruit based on contact parastichies (spirals coming out of their top), is 8 and 13
In the most common variety from Hawaii, the Smooth Cayenne variety, there are two spiral arrangements:
1. Eight gently sloping spirals composed of every 8 fruitlets
2. Thirteen steeper spirals composed of every 13 fruitlets

2. The fruit is coloured yellowish orange when it is ripe
3. The butt is the main stem or stalk of the plant below the fruit
4. The top is the small leafy shoot that keeps growing above the fruit
This part makes the best planting material
5. Suckers are large strong shoots, branches, from the main stem or butt
The suckers come from axillary buds at the lower part of the butt
Suckers may not grow at all if the plant has produced too many slips
6. Slips are small leafy shoot branches that grow up from the upper part of the main stem or butt
Slips come from axillary buds at the upper end of the butt, just underneath the fruit
If the plant has too many slips, they take some food that could have gone into the fruit
7. Roots grow from the bottom of the stem and the butt
Also some roots may grow from the axillary buds low down on the stem

3.0 Soils for growing pineapples
1. Pineapples grow well on some Pacific islands but they will not grow well on coral soils
Pineapples grow well in the lowlands and in the highlands to an altitude of about 1700 metres
2. They grow best on the slopes of hills if the soils have come from volcanic, basaltic, rocks
3. Most pineapple soils are not very rich; in fact most of them are poor soils that do not contain much plant food so pineapple soils
need fertilizers
4. Pineapples must have a soil with good drainage
If the soil is badly drained the clay subsoil should be ripped up by tractors to loosen it
5. The best place to plant pineapples is on a slope of about 40 degrees
If the soil is flat, then the soil should be heaped up to make beds in line with the direction of maximum slope
Because pineapples do not cover the ground well, rain may wash away the good topsoil
To prevent this erosion occurring, pineapples should be planted only on flat or gently sloping land

6. The best soils for pineapples are well drained, slightly acidic soils pH 4.5 to 5.5 with good drainage, high soil organic matter and
high potassium, K
Pineapples can tolerate high levels of Aluminium, Al3+, and Manganese, Mn2+
Pineapples are very heavy feeders on foods in the soil, particularly nitrogen and potassium
Plants that have been growing in the same area for a few years commonly have red leaves because nitrogen is scarce
Yields will start to decrease and fertilizer must be applied to increase the yields again
Plant material applied as a mulch can also provide food for the crop
If waste material from other crops is available, this can be spread over the ground as a mulch to keep down weed growth
In some countries paper or black plastic is laid on the ground to prevent weed growth
Perhaps the best method is to plant the pineapples under the shade of another crop, for example bananas, so that the weeds will be
shaded out

4.0 Leaves
See diagram 60.4: Pineapple leaves
1. The leaf is long, up to 100 cm, and ends in a point
The leaf is curved upwards on the side facing the stem
The back of the leaf is rounded
Spirally-arranged sword-like leaves with pointed tips may be with or without spiny margins. Two main varieties are the rough leaf variety with spines on the leaves and produces a good eating fruit, and the smooth leaf variety with
spineless leaves and larger, but not as tasty, fruit
Unripe fruits may have a stinging effect on the tongue.
Some varieties have smooth leaves that contain water storing tissue
Other varieties have spines
You need gloves to handle the spiny leaves which may contain an irritant sap and cause dermatitis.
2. Cut across a leaf with a sharp knife to see that the thickness of the leaf has two parts:
2.1 the dark green food-making part, and
2.2 the lighter coloured water-storing part
3. Look at a whole plant from the side to see the angle of the leaf to the stem is greatest with the lower leaves and smallest with the
top leaves
4. Find two leaves in line one above the other
The pineapple leaves grow very closely together
They are joined in a spiral to the stem
Usually every 13th leaf is directly above another leaf lower down
There are usually 5 spirals between the 2 leaves that are in line
5. The older leaves of pineapples do not drop off as with many other plants
6. Count the total number of leaves on one plant
When the pineapple plant makes a fruit there are usually from 60 to 80 large leaves formed
7. The largest leaves are usually found at the top of the plant
The largest and most recent leaf to mature is called the "D leaf"
This is the highest leaf on the plant and it stands nearly straight up
8. The leaves are made by the shoot apex, growing point
Select a top that has been cut off a fruit
Use a sharp knife to make a cut straight down through the middle of the top
Look at half the top to see how the shoot apex makes the leaves

5.0 Roots
Dig up one plant so the roots can be seen
1. Most of the roots come from the bottom of the stem or butt
Other roots often grow from the axillary buds of the lowest leaves
These roots are called axillary roots
2. Pineapple roots usually grow sideways for one to two metres and grow down about 85 cm
3. Measure the thickness of some roots
4. Dig up some roots growing at one side of a plant and see how far sideways they grow
5. Dig a small hole straight down to find if there is a hard layer of subsoil there that might stop the roots going down

6.0 Flowering and forcing
See diagram 60.6: Pineapple life cycle
1. When the pineapple plant is big enough, the shoot apex makes flower buds usually when it has 60 to 80 leaves about 14 months
after planting
The flower is an inflorescence of 100 to 200 flowers with three fleshy sepals and petals, six stamens, and the ovary in 3 parts
The fruit is a cylindrical, compound fruit formed by fusion of berry-like fruitlets
The leafy shoot at the apex called the crown

2. The making of the flower buds is called "flower initiation"
The flower buds turn into the fruit that is really a big flower
The fruit is many individual berries fused to the central stalk
So the "fruit" has leaves on top due to the continued growth of the stalk beyond where the berries are attached

3. After 4 to 5 months post initiation the fruit is ready

4. Suckers planted in November to December will start growing about December the next year
The fruit will be ready during April to June the next year after that

5. Suckers planted in March to April will initiate in April to June the following year
The fruit will be ready in September to November

6. If a field of pineapples can be made to produce a crop simultaneously repeated labour harvests are avoided
Growers learned to use ethylene, acetylene or the plant hormone auxin to bring all plants to flower together
The process is called "forcing" or "closing out", or "induction"
Nowadays the growth regulator ethephon, an ethylene releasing compound, is sprayed onto pineapple plants to promote uniform
flowering
Pineapple fruits usually mature at certain times of the year so that there are times when pineapples are not available
By using these ethylene releasing compounds or flowering hormones, pineapples can be made to fruit earlier than they would have
naturally
Also it can make all plants in one area fruit together so that operations like harvesting and de-suckering can be carried out more easily

7. Apply forcing to plants when they look big enough to carry fruit depending on the type of planting material used and the growing
conditions
If applied too early, small sized fruit will result
Mix a few drops of the forcing solution with water then pour into the heart of the plant, e.g. fifty drops for half a bucket of water,
4.5 litres is enough for 75 plants
After applying the forcing solution fruit should be ready for harvesting from rough leaf pineapples in 22 to 24 weeks, and for smooth
leaf pineapples in 26 to 30 weeks
Ask the local agriculture officer for help with forcing
One recommendation is to use 0.5 Kg Ethephon, 80 Kg urea for absorption, Na2CO3 for pH increase to 9.0, 2 250 to 3 000 litres
water per hectare
Forcing with growth regulators is most effective during cooler seasons
Hot weather is not good for good floral induction
During hot seasons, when night temperatures are greater than 25oC, do not use nitrogen (N), fertilizer for four to six weeks before
forcing to improve flower induction

7.0 Planning the pineapple garden
| See diagram 60.7: Pineapple garden beds
1. Plant pineapples early in the year where there is a little slope so that water will run away from the planting material
Pineapples will not grow well if the soil in that place is too wet, or if there is bad drainage
The soil on the slope may be a better red volcanic soil
The slope must not be too steep because rain washing down may cause soil erosion and the soil will be lost

2. Build up beds 60 cm apart and 30 cm high with the plants at least 30 cm apart in the beds
Pineapples can be planted in rows, or individually
One system has two rows planted next to each other, 60 cm apart, and with 30 cm between plants within rows
A distance of 1.8 metres is left between the centre of one double row and the centre of the next
If bananas are also grown and if the spacing between these is about 4 m × 2 m, then there is plenty of room to plant double rows of
pineapples between the rows of bananas
To give 100 students a reasonable sized piece of pineapple (say 200 gm), once per week, about 800 plants would be required
At the recommended spacing, using double rows, this would take an area of about 220 square metres, 22 m × 10 m
If pineapples are grown under the shade of bananas, the area required to give a supply of bananas to 100 students was 30 m × 20 m
If pineapple were grown in the spaces between these bananas, there could be enough room for about 850 plants
Commercial production may use rows 60 cm apart within beds and plants 28 cm apart within rows, a total of 75 000 plants/Ha for the
fresh pineapple market

3. Before land is used for the next crop, all old pineapple plants must be dug up and burnt because old
plants may have diseases or pests, e.g. mealy bugs
After marking out the pineapple garden area mark the corners of the plot with stakes
A suitable garden may measure 65 m wide by 10 m long
This would give us enough room to have five rows each about 10 m long
After marking out the area, dig the area and form it up into separate gardens
Pull out all the weeds
New land must be well cleared then dug to a depth of 30 cm and any leaves or grass left to rot
The crop does not cover the ground well so the soil is exposed to the sun and weed growth can be vigorous
Weeds must be controlled so that a good crop can be obtained
Weeding with a hoe or a grass knife is the usual method
Chemicals that kill the weeds but do not affect the pineapples can be used, e.g. Diuron, dissolved in water

4. Sprinkle some mixed fertilizer over the soil on the beds
A fertilizer mixture that contained nitrogen, phosphorus, potash, magnesium and some zinc and iron can be used
After mixing the fertilizer well, spread over the soil at the rate of about 150 gm per square metre of bed
Also spread some insecticide, e.g. heptachlor, over the soil to kill mealy bugs
Take great care to avoid getting any of this chemical on their hands
Ask your agriculture department officer to show you how this must be done

8.0 Types of planting material
See diagram 60.8: Pineapple plant
Commercial pineapples are not grown from seed
Commercial cultivars from Hawaii and the West Indies are self sterile
The tiny flowers cannot be fertilized
Pineapples are reproduced by vegetative propagation, using crowns, slips, or suckers

The 5 types of planting material used are as follows:
1. Tops or crown is the leafy vegetative shoot that grows on the top of the fruit
Plants that grow from tops take longer to fruit than those grown from suckers and slips
They are the best kinds of planting material, especially if they are large and come from a plant that had a big fruit
Planted year round they 2 years to produce fruit or can be forced 9 to 13 months later
Plant crop duration is 15 to 20 months in cooler areas and 11 to 14 months in warmer tropical areas
2. Aerial suckers are leafy branches carried on the stem above ground level
Plants grown from aerial suckers produce fruit more quickly than other sorts of planting material, and yield lots more fruit
3. Suckers or ground suckers are leafy branches or side shoots that arise from axillary buds of the leaves on the stem at or below
ground level
Suckers are very good planting material
They are usually the heaviest kinds of planting material, and may weigh as much as 1 kg each
They grow faster and may make a fruit after 18 months
They can make a second crop or ratoon crop of fruit
However, suckers may not grow very strongly if there are many slips because slips take all the food from the leaves
Plants may have 6 to 12 slips but plants with many slips will not sucker until the slips are removed
Some plants never make any suckers
Suckers take 17 months to produce fruit
4. Slips are the leafy side shoots carried on the fruit stalk that come from axillary buds just below the fruit
It is good if there are no more than four slips on each plant, and best if there are only two slips
If there are too many slips on a plant, it is best to break them all off using a forked stick
Also, cut the growing point or shoot apex so that this plant can never be used to supply planting material
If it were used, the new plants would also make too many slips
Plants from slips take 20 months to produce fruit
6. The butt is part of the stem below the fruit
This can be used as planting material, but it grows very slowly and is not often used
Butts or ratoons are the stems of the plants that can be used for planting after the fruit is harvested
The base of the stem and the fruit stalk are cut away and the leaves are removed
Plants grown from butts are very slow to produce fruit and do not yield very well
Propagation is by crowns and slips for commercial production and ground suckers and suckers for non-commercial production
All this material needs to be prepared for planting by stripping off the leaves at the base to allow it to dry in the sun for a few days to
help a vigorous root system get established

9.0 Selecting plants for planting material
1. If the best plants are used for planting material, the plants will produce bigger fruit for better prices
2. The food made by photosynthesis in the leaves goes up the stem to be used to make the fruit, slips and suckers
Plants that make the best pineapples have a big fruit and no more than two slips
Poor plants have six to seven slips and may not make any suckers
So do not take planting material from plants that have four or more slips to each plant because they will grow into poor plants where
most of the food goes into making the slips, and not into the making of fruit and suckers
3. Look at many pineapple plants to find the following:
3.1 some plants with only two or three slips and,
3.2 plants with many slips
Find any suckers on these plants
4. Select plants that make strong suckers quickly because these will grow into a strong following crop
Good planting material comes from a healthy plant with big well formed fruit
The plant should have only two or three slips
Tops are the best planting material because they are nearly always the same size so they grow evenly and make fruit simultaneously
The next best are big slips especially if the plan has few of them
Planting material should all be about the same size and weight otherwise the fruit will ripen at different times so you cannot send it
away to be sold because some fruits are not ripe
Also, if you use a hormone to make the plants form a fruit some plants will be too small and the fruit will be too small to be sold

10.0 Planting
1. Before planting, break off a few leaves from the bottom of the planting material and leave it in the shade for a few days
Dig the surface of the garden lightly
Lay out the planting material on the ground and check that each bed has only one kind of planting material in it
Plant different kinds of planting material in different beds to see the difference in the way they grow
2. All the planting material in any one bed should be about the same weight
Discard and burn any poor planting material
3. After planting, the soil must be pushed down firmly around each planting piece
Water the planted pieces

11.0 Pineapple growing
See diagram 60.11: Pineapple fruit
1. After planting the stem grows up and the growing point, or shoot apex, makes new leaves
2. When the shoot apex has 60 to 80 leaves it then makes a flower bud
This is called "flower initiation"
3. The flower becomes a small pineapple fruit that grows bigger
After four months the fruit is ready to pick
4. The shoot apex at the top of the fruit then keeps on growing and makes the "top"
Axillary buds in the leaves growing from the butt turn into "slips" (high up), or "suckers" (low down),
When the fruit is still forming, use a forked stick to break off all the slips on plants with more than two or three slips
5. Time to maturity differs with different planting materials
The difference in the time taken for the fruit to be set and mature is that plants grown from aerial suckers produce first, then ground
suckers, then slips, then tops, with butts taking the longest
A crop from aerial suckers will produce fruit in a year
6. Harvest as shell colour changes from green to yellow at base
Pineapples are non-climacteric fruits because they do not ripen after harvest
Pineapple fruit quality is at its best only if the fruit matures on the plant
They do not become sweeter if harvested earlier since there are no starch reserves to be converted to sugar
The sugar content must come from the rest of the plant
Pineapples do not store well and should be eaten soon after harvesting

12.0 Keeping records
Keep the following records:
1. Date of making garden
2. Date of planting pineapples
3. Height of plants each month and number of leaves made
4. The number of months when the plant seems to have made a flower/fruit bud
5. The number of months for the flower bud to turn into a ripe fruit ready to pick
6. The number of months before the first slip is made
7. The number of months before the first sucker is made
8. Rainfall during the project
9. Cost of items bought for the pineapple project

13.0 Fertilizers
1. The most important plant foods are nitrogen, N, phosphorus, P, and potassium, K, so a mixed fertilizer should contain these
substances
However, it should also include other elements, e.g. zinc, Zn, and iron, Fe
Fertilizers must be applied at the following times:
1.1 Before planting, mixed fertilizer
1.2 3 weeks after planting, ammonium sulfate spread down the middle of the bed between the planting materials
1.3 7 weeks after planting, a mixed fertilizer containing urea, iron sulfate, zinc sulfate
At this time some Diazinon should also be spread on the soil to stop mealy bugs
1.4 12 weeks after planting, a mixed fertilizer, NPK 10-1-15
1.5 20 weeks after planting, same as for 7 weeks
1.6 30 weeks after planting, same as for 7 weeks
1.7 37 weeks after planting, a mixed fertilizer NPK 10-1-15
1.8 44 weeks after planting, ammonium sulfate only
1.9 48 weeks after planting, mixed fertilizer NPK 10-1-15
2. Ask an agricultural officer how much of these fertilizers to put on the soil each time
If fertilizer is to be added, a mixture high in nitrogen and potassium should be used
Four bags of urea (200 kg), and two bags of muriate of potash (100 kg), would be for a hectare of plants in a year
For 500 m2, 10 kg of urea and 5 kg of muriate of potash would be sufficient
This amount should be applied in three or four applications throughout the year

13.1 Boron deficiency
Boron deficiency in soils: 1.1.0
Boron deficiency in pineapple, causes fruitlets to separate and the gaps between them become corky
Root growth is poor but only when the deficiency is severe does the growing point die or the leaves show symptoms

14.0 Pests and diseases of pineapples
| See diagram 60.14: Mealy bugs
| See diagram 60.12: Mealy bugs
1. Ask your agricultural officer to help you decide what chemicals to use and how to use it
Be very careful if students handle these chemicals as they are poisonous
Dig up and burn all old pineapple plants at least six months before planting new material
Treat the soil with a chemical like diazinon before planting pineapples
Treat all planting material with recommended chemicals before it is planted
Treat the soil around the growing crop with chemicals to kill the bugs
Some bugs may live at the base of the leaves, but spraying the leaves does not stop the disease because most of the bugs are under
the ground
2. The mealy bug (Dysmicoccus brevipes), causes mealy bug wilt, the most serious disease of pineapple
However, mealy bugs are "ant-attended", so using a recommended insecticide to kill the ants helps control the mealybug
All crowns and suckers could be treated with diazinon and let dry before planting
The mealybug is a small white insect that can often be seen on the fruit or at the base of the leaves
This small animal lives mostly under the ground and feeds on the roots
It carries a disease called mealybug wilt virus that infects the pineapple roots
This makes the roots stop growing, become soft and then rot
If they are a problem in a particular area, planting material should be dipped in a solution of malathion, e.g. add 25 mL malathion +
50%, miscible oil to 10 L of water
However, using insecticide against mealy bugs may destroy their natural enemies! 3. Pineapple wilt disease, caused by a fungus, can be treated in the same way as mealy bug
If you look at the roots and you cannot see any mealy bugs
However, if the roots are rotten, then it may be the root rot disease caused by the fungus
It only grows in soils that do not have good drainage so doing anything to stop this disease may not be possible until the ground is
cleared for the next crop
Then either give the soil better drainage or leave this soil and move the garden to a better place
Phytophthora causes top and root rot of pineapple

15.0 Weeds
1. Weeds are any plants that are growing where you do not want them to grow
Weeds have the following bad effects on pineapples:
1.1 They take soil water from the pineapples
1.2 They steal plant food from the pineapples
If you put some fertilizers on the soil, some of these plant foods will be used by the weeds
1.3 Weeds may also take light away from the pineapples by shading them
1.4 Sometimes strong growing weeds may take living space from pineapples
2. You can kill weeds by digging them out by hand
This can be done in a small garden, but cannot be done if many pineapples are being grown
3. Some weedicides can kill grown weeds
Others are called pre-emergent weedicides because they kill the weeds when they have only just come through the soil
Weedicides like Bromacil, Ametryne and Diuron are pre-emergent weedicides

16.0 Improving production
1. At the end of the project it is a good time to think of how production of pineapples could be improved, e.g. better selection of
good planting material, because far too many poor plants are growing, too many mealy bugs, too many weeds growing, not enough
fertilizers used
A very common mistake in pineapple growing is to leave the plants growing in the same position for many years
After a plant has produced a fruit, it will not produce another one
Instead, one or more of the sucker plants that grow out from the mother plant will carry a fruit
If all the suckers are left on the other plant, small fruit will be produced
2. After a fruit has been harvested the mother plant must be cut off and only one sucker left
The other suckers must be removed and soil heaped around the base of the remaining sucker so that the roots can obtain food easily
from the soil
This is called ratooning and will produce a ratoon crop
Each plant propagated produces one fruit at the top of its stem
This high quality fruit is called the plant's crop
After the fruit is harvested, several suckers develop and one year later produces the ratoon crop
The fruits are smaller and of lesser quality
A second ratoon crop can develop after the first crop is harvested
After that, the field is dug up and replanted
When this has been done twice, that is when three fruits have been harvested from one planting, it is best to remove the crop and replant
This is because the fruit becomes smaller with each ratoon crop
Large fruit will be obtained again after replanting
3. It is best to plant the new crop on new ground and plant a different crop on the old area, or allow it to rest for a few years
This helps to prevent a build up of weeds, insect pests and diseases in the area
Planting can be done at any time of the year provided sufficient planting material is available and the soil is not too dry

16.1 Pineapple varieties
The first Australian pineapple varieties were introduced around 1858 from England
The Smooth Cayenne variety was favoured because it was a large soft flesh variety, high in acidity and grew easily under Australia's
harsh conditions
This variety was perfect for canning and through summer still had good eating characteristics as fresh fruit
However, its inconsistency caused pineapple sales to stagnate and consumers to turn away
So new varieties were bred in Australia:
1. Rough Leaf variety has prickly leaves on the crown of this fruit
Grown in tropical north Queensland, it has firm, attractive yellow flesh and an often preferred flavour when compared to Smooth
Cayenne variety
Production and availability of this fruit has declined because of the increasing availability of new fresh fruit varieties
2. Aussie Gold variety, a modern low acid variety originally from Hawaii, is best grown in spring and early summer
It has a sweet aroma and may be chopped up and eaten fresh, perfect for snacking, fruit salads or fruit kebabs for kids
3. Aussie Jubilee Australia, bred in Australia, is best grown from April through to October
It is sweet and aromatic, low in acid, high in vitamin C and also higher in anti-oxidants than other varieties
It is suitable for all occasions, as a fresh snack, in salads, will compliment any recipe and is best known for its aromatic flavour
It is suitable for children being sweet, with low acidity and double the vitamin C of other pineapples
4. Aussie Smooth Cayenne variety has the traditional pineapple flavour, with soft, juicy flesh, and perfect for summer juices, fruit salads
and has a sharper flavour for cooking
It is higher in acid through winter and seasonally is best through summer when the acid levels drop
It is still a popular variety in Australia as it has a dual use for both fresh market and canning
5. Aussie Festival variety is the latest variety in the pineapple breeding programme
It is said to taste like a Pina Colada with sweet coconut aromatics in the summer
It is a large pineapple in the early stages of development, but is expected to be a favourite with consumers and farmers alike
The good sized fruit and other traits mark Aussie Festival variety as a very promising summer season variety
The maturity time from flower induction to harvest is around three weeks later than other varieties, so extending the peak summer
harvest into February to April, a period when other pineapples are in short supply.

Preface
Before teaching this project, discuss the content of the lessons with a field officer of the Ministry of Agriculture and get advice on
planting material, planting distances, site for planting, approved mulch, composting, and control of pests and diseases
Use only the procedures, agricultural chemicals and insecticides recommended by the local field officer of the Ministry of Agriculture
If you cannot control insects by hand-picking, ask the Ministry of Agriculture to recommend a chemical spray
All insect sprays are dangerous
Show the students how to use them safely
Do not get the spray onto your hands
Do not breathe in the spray
Wash your hands well after using spray
Keep the spray container in a safe place where students cannot get it
Spray on a day of no wind but if you must spray when there is a wind, spray down wind
Make sure the spray does not blow on other people
Start planting as early as possible in the year but make sure you can get enough planting material
Do not make the garden too big
A smaller garden with bearing good fruit is better than a big garden that is untidy and has poor quality fruit
In some places pineapple growing is not a good standard
In some places the pineapples do not produce good fruit as well as they could and growers do not make much money from them
Ask the local agriculture department officer to help you with information and practical help

2.0.0 Native Australian fruits with potential for development
Based on "Wild Fruits of Australia" by John M. Riley, California Rare Fruit Growers
About 180 fruit and nuts are edible
They are mostly large seeded, tropical trees whose seed may be eaten after they are leached or boiled to remove toxins
Many small fruits have not much potential for development

1. Antidesma
2. Austromyrtus
3. Araucaria
4. Billardiera
5. Capparis
6. Davidsonia
7. Diploglottis
8. Eremocitrus
9. Eugenia
10. Hicksbeachia
11. Macadamia
12. Microcitrus
13. Nitraria
14. Owenia
15. Physalis
16. Pleiogyniam
17. Podocarpus
18. Psidium
19. Santalum
20. Schinus
21. Syzygium
22. Zizyphus

Antidesma
1. 1. Antidesma bunius and A. dallachyanum (Qld), are commonly found as shrubs or small trees with simple, alternate leaves bearing
inconspicuous male and female flowers on different plants
The rounded fruits are mostly 6 to l2 mm across, vary in colour from cream to red and purple-black
They have a very acid pulp surrounding a central stone
The fruit are densely borne on the stalk
A. dallachyanum fruit may reach 2 cm across
These plants are tender and suffer damage below 10oC
Austromyrtus
2. Austromyrtus dulcis (NSW), is a low straggly, highly ornamental shrub producing one of the best edible native fruits
The young leaves, about 2 cm long, are pink and silky
Its white flowers are borne singly in the leaf axils, and are followed by currant-like fruits that are pale lilac or almost white with darker
purple flecks and about 1 cm across
The soft pulp has an aromatic, delicious flavour
The skin is very soft and seeds small, so the whole fruit can be eaten with pleasure
The plant is said to be a prolific fruiting plant, easy to grow from seed
Araucaria
3. Araucaria bidwillii, "Bunya Nut" (Qld), is a large growing pine valuable as an ornamental and a timber tree
The Bunya nut is extracted from large cones
Its taste is a blend of chestnuts and pine nuts
The nuts are pierced and then roasted
Billardiera
4. Billardiera, Appleberry" is a genus of about eight species of small evergreen vines bearing edible fruit
The small bell-shaped flowers are inconspicuous, but the fruit is very ornamental
B. longiflora is commonly grown for its blue fruit
Other species are B. scandens with yellow or red berry, B. cymosa with reddish berry, and B. mutabilis
Seed should be germinated at above 13oC
Capparis
5. Capparis mitchelli, "Small Native Pomegranate", fruit 2 to 5 cm in diameter and the pulp with an agreeable perfume, is eaten by the
aborigines
C. nobilis, "Native Pomegranate, has fruit, 2 to 5 cm in diameter
Davidsonia
6. Davidsonia pruriens, "Davidson's Plum" (Qld), is one of the best native fruits
Its fruit is blue-black, plum-like, with loose hairs on the surface
The flesh is soft, juicy, purple and contains small, flattened seed with a fibrous coating
The fruit is very acid so is stewed with sugar or made into jam or jelly
It provides a distinctive and most enjoyable food for anyone who likes a sharp taste in preserves
The plant is striking in form and foliage
Diploglottis
7. Diploglottis australis, "Native Tamarind" (Qld), is a relative of the lychee found in the Australian rain forest
The plant has a crown of very large, pinnate leaves sometimes reaching 60 cm long
The yellow fruit has three rounded lobes each about 1 to 2 cm broad and contains a single seed enclosed in an orange, juicy, jellylike
pulp
This is very acid but pleasant and refreshing
A good drink can be made by boiling the fruits with sugar and water
They can also be made into jam
Diploglottis campbellii is very rare and much superior to D. australis
The fruit is a capsule, usually three-lobed
Each lobe is 4 cm in diameter, smooth, hard, and enclosing a single round seed
The pulp, a pleasantly acid, juicy red aril, encloses the single seed
Eremocitrus
6. Eremocitrus glauca, Desert Lime" (Qld), is a pronounced xerophyte, growing in dry areas and dropping its leaves under the stress of
drought
In the summer it bears heavy crops of rounded yellow fruits 1 to 2 cm broad
Since its rind is soft and less bitter than most members of the citrus group, the fruit makes excellent marmalade
Eugenia
7. Eugenia species typically have fruit vary from 1 to 6 cm in diameter and are usually round to pear-shaped
The majority have pleasant, crisp or pithy flesh that is sour and aromatic
In some species, the uninteresting fresh fruit develops an excellent flavour when cooked
E. suborbicularis and E. carissoides are the best species
Eugenia smithii, "Lilly Pilly" (Qld, NSW, NT), is grown for its evergreen foliage and showy berry
Fruit is 0.5 to 2 cm in diameter, depressed, globular, edible, and slightly acid
E. operculata is a tree with ovate leaves, 13 to 20 cm long
The edible fruit is pea-like, ripening from dark red to purple
E. suborbicularis has large, red fruit with a small stone and good flavour.
Microcitrus
8. Microcitrus australasia, "Finger Lime" (Qld, NSW), is one of five subspecies
It produces curious pickle-shaped fruit about 2 cm in diameter and 10 cm long
These can be sliced into rings and preserved
The very acrid pulp has a harsh aftertaste
Microcitrus australis, "Round Lime" (Qld, NSW), bears fruit the size of a large walnut
The flavour is lemon-like with a harsh aftertaste
Both Microritrus species are very vigorous and good candidates as rootstock for citrus grown in arid lands
Microcitrus garrowayi (Qld), is a rare species similar to M. australasica
Microcitrus inodora (Qld), is a rainforest species with fruit of good flavour
The native Citrus species are notably different from all other species of citrus, suggesting an isolated and diverging evolution
As ornamentals they have great vigour and unusual fruit and foliage
They represent citrus relatives adapted to unusual soil conditions, extreme drought or rainforest conditions
Syzygium
10. Syzygium coolminianum, "Blue Lilly Pilly" (Qld, NSW), is a shrub or small tree to 18 feet
The 1 cm fruit is edible and of an unusual blue colour
Syzygium luehmannii, "Cherry Alder" (Qld, NSW), is common in rainforests near the beach with edible small, pear-shaped fruits
Syzygium moorei, " Robby'' or Durobby" (NSW), has large, cream-coloured fruit to 5 cm
Syzygium paniculatum, "Brush Cherry, " is commonly grown as an ornamental so the fruit is not often eaten and no improved fruiting
varieties are known
Hicksbeachia
11. Hicksbeachia pinnatifolia (Qld, NSW), is a stunning ornamental relative of the macadamia
It bears large strap leaves up to 60 cm long, growing straight like a palm
Its fruit is bright red and 2 to 3 cm wide
The seed encased in a bony shell is edible, though inferior to the macadamia nut
The bright red rind is said to numb the mouth if bitten into in the mistaken idea that it is a fruit
Macadamia
12. Macadamia integrifolia (Qld), is probably the most common species in cultivation
Its leaves usually occur in whorls of three and often it has leaves that have no marginal teeth
M. tetraphylla (Qld), bears leaves mostly in whorls of four and leaf margins are always toothed
M. ruhelanii (Qld), is a rainforest tree that resembles the macadamia nut, but its kernel is poisonous and extremely bitter
M. praealta (Qld, NSW), is a rainforest tree with round fruits, up to 5 cm across, containing one or two nuts with shells thinner than
the macadamia nut
Other species are M. ternifolia and M. heyana
Nitraria
13. Nitraria schoberi, "Karambi", is a dry land shrub that produces fruit the size of an olive, of a red colour and agreeable flavour
Owenia
14. Owenia cerasifera, "Queensland Plum" (Qld), is a plant that bears a fine juicy red fruit with a large stone
When eaten fresh it is very acid, but after storage it becomes palatable and refreshing
Schinus
15. Schinus molle has fruit about 2 cm in diameter
The skin is rough and the pulp is of a rich crimson colour
The flavour is acid, but enjoyable
he large, rough stone contains several seed
Physalis
16. Physalis peruviana, "Cape Gooseberry", is common, and is a weed in some places
The fruit is popular for jams and pies, better when cooked with an equal amount of apple
The fully ripe fruit can be dried into an attractive "raisin."
The berry has an inflated papery calyx completely enclosing it
Despite the small size and seediness, the intense flavour recommends this species for annual planting
Pleiogyniam
17. Pleiogyniam timorense, "Burdekin Plum" (Qld, NSW), is a spreading tree with glossy, pinnate leaves and purple-black fruits 3 to
4 cm broad, like flattened plums
The flesh around the large, ribbed stone is acid and of reasonable flavour only if completely ripe
They are said to taste like "indifferent Damson plums"
Podocarpus
18. Podocarpus elatus, "Brown Pine" (Qld, NSW), is a common rainforest pine but lacking an obvious cone
The round, greenish seed is seated at the apex of a larger fleshy stalk that resembles a purple-black grape with a waxy bloom
This stalk is edible, but is rather mucilaginous and resinous in flavour
It makes jam or jelly more acceptable than the raw stalks
Psidium
19. Psidium guineense, "Guava", has been naturalized in parts of Australia and is regarded as a good fruit
The fruit is said to resemble guajava, but more sour
Germination takes 10 to 12 weeks or longer
Santalum
20. Santalum acuminatum, "Sweet Quandong", is a good eating fruit and nut
Native to the drier parts of Australia, it regularly fruits without supplemental water
The rounded, pendulous fruits, 2 to 3 cm across, change from green to bright red
The firm, fleshy layer surrounding the stone is edible when quite ripe
This stage is usually indicated by the fruits falling to the ground or rattling when shaken
Although the flesh is rather acid, it can be eaten raw, but is more often made into highly prized pies, jams and jellies
The stones are easily removed and the flesh can be dried for later use
The seed is said to also be edible and to contain enough oil to burn like a candle
The seedlings are partially parasitic and are best germinated with a host such as grasses, acacias, or even citrus
A related species, S. album, is grown in India with Zizyphus oenophilia as a host
To germinate Santalum seed, they are cracked in a vice and the kernel removed
The surface is sterilized with sodium hypochlorite, stored in slightly damp vermiculite, and put in a darkened area at 16 to 20oC
However, germination is erratic
Zizyphus
21. Zizyphus oenoplia (Qld), from the northernmost part of Australia, is a spiny, sprawling shrub with black, acid, edible fruit less than
1 cm broad
Z. mauritiana and Z. jujuba are grown in Australia, though not common.