Pineapple (Ananas comosus)—Courtesy of Dole Company

Fruit-bearing plant (Ananas comosus) of the family Bromeliaceae, native to the New World tropics and subtropics but introduced elsewhere. Pineapple is served fresh where available and in canned form worldwide. It is a key ingredient in Polynesian cuisine. Like agave and some yuccas, the plant has a rosette of 30–40 stiff, succulent leaves on a thick, fleshy stem. A determinate inflorescence forms 15–20 months after planting. After fertilization, the many lavender flowers fuse and become fleshy to form the 2–4 lb (1–2 kg) fruit. Ripening takes 5–6 months.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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