Ananas comosus

BOTANICAL NAME :- Ananas comosus
Syn : A.Saliva, Bromalia comosus


SINHALA : Annasi
TAMIL  : Annasi
ENGLISH : Pineapple


A terrestrial herb with rosettes of long and strong, spiny-serrate, linear-lanceolate.

LEAVES :- 1-1.5 m long, 5-7 cm broad, acuminate, green and shining on the upper surface, paler, beneath, stem erect, central, bearing at it is apex a simple, dense, cone-like spike.

FLOWERS:- Sessile, bisexual, (sterile in cultivated forms)

FRUITS:- A syncarplium formed by the coalescence of thickened rachis, spinytoothed bracts, abortive ovaries and adhering parts into one large globose or elongated fleshy fruit called the "pineapple" (Purseglove, 1972).


A native of Tropical America (Purseglove, 1972; Bose and Mitra, 1985; Querol, 1992). It was introdcued to Asia in the 16th century and now cultivated for it is fruit in all tropical countries. It is one of widely cultivited fruits in Sri Lanka (Department of Agriculture, 1993).

EDIBLE PARTS : The fruit
FOOD USE: Tender portion of the riped fruits is eaten in fresh and can be used for preparing salads, jams, pickles and beverages. Unriped fruits are eaten as a vegetable.


Moisture - 87.8 g, 
Energy - 46 kcal, 
Proteins - 0.4 g, 
Fats - 0.1 g, 
Carbohydrates 10.8 g, 
Calcium - 20 mg, 
Phosphrus - 9 mg, 
Iron - 1.2 mg, 
Carotene - 18 meg, 
Thiamine - 200 meg, 
Riboflavin - 120 meg, 
Niacin - 0.1 mg, 
Vitamin C - 39 mg (Perera et. al., 1979).

The flesh of the pineapple contains the sugars sccharose, glucose, fructose and mannite, citric acid traces of vanillin and the enzyme, bromelin, which has the same properties as trypsin. The fruit is also a good source of vitamins A.B, C and Calcium and Iron. The fruit as well as the juice of the leaves are a powerful anthelmintic and vermicide. The immature pineapple contains a poisonous substance which brings about violent purging and hence the juice is given as a vermifuge to children and as an abortifacient to woman (Department of Agriculture, 1993). Leaf juice is regarded as anthelmintic, purgative, and anti-inflammatory. The unripe fruit is considered to be diuretic, anthelmintic, expectorant and abortifacient, and is also credited with emmenagogue properties, bruised plant is applied to burns, itches and boils (De Pauda et al., 1987).


Fresh pineapple flesh and juice contain a protein-digesting protein. Annasi leaves are used for ola leaf seasoning. A variegated form with green yellow and pink stripes, is grown as an exotic plant. In Southern Asia the young immature fruits are used as an abortifacient.


Sandy loams or laterite soils are more suitable for pineapple. Best pH range would be 5.5-6.0. Temparature of 24-32°C is suitable. Rainfall of 1500 - 3000 mm is required. Grows in elevations up to 1500 m.


Areas for cultivation - Colombo and Kurunegala Districts and parts of the Puttalam and Badulla Districts around Hali-Ela, and Deegala.

Land preparation - Land has to be ploughed and harrowed, trenches are dug across the countour 2.0 cm wide and 2.0 cm deep. The dug out earth is placed on the lower side of each trench to form a small bund.

Planting material - Ratoons, suckers, slips, crowns.  

Planting space - Suckers, crowns or shoots are placed in these trenches 35-40 inches apart with the tops leaning towards the bund. A little soil is scooped from the upper side of the tree and used to cover the suckers to a depth of 7.5 cm. The rest of the trench is allowed to fill in naturally with soil which is usually washed in during the rains.

Fertilizer - it must be heavily fertilized, starting at two months after planting and every four months thereafter.

Time to harvest - It depends on the planting material used. For prolonged storage it is advisable to harvest at the stage when 25-50% area of skin becomes yellowist. The natural fruiting season for pineapple in the low-country wet zone is from May to July and again in November to January.


Ripe fruits deteriorate soon and must be eaten 4-5 days. If harvested before full ripening, it is sucessfully stored for two weeks.