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The jackfruit is the fruit of jack tree Artocarpus heterophyllus, a species of tree in the fig, mulberry, and breadfruit family (Moraceae). The jackfruit is the largest tree fruit, reaching as much as 55 kg (120 pounds) in weight, 90 cm (35 inches) in length, and 50 cm (20 inches) in diameter. A mature jackfruit tree produces some 200 fruits per year, with older trees bearing up to 500 fruits in a year. The jackfruit is a multiple fruit composed of hundreds to thousands of individual flowers, and the fleshy petals of the unripe fruit are eaten.

The jackfruit tree is well-suited to tropical lowlands and is widely cultivated throughout tropical regions of the world, including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the rainforests of the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Australia.

The ripe fruit is sweet (depending on variety) and is commonly used in desserts. Canned green jackfruit has a mild taste and meat-like texture that lends itself to being called "vegetable meat". Jackfruit is commonly used in South and Southeast Asian cuisines. Both ripe and unripe fruits are consumed. It is available internationally, canned or frozen, and in chilled meals, as are various products derived from the fruit, such as noodles and chips.

rtocarpus heterophyllus grows as an evergreen tree that has a relatively short trunk and dense treetop. It easily reaches heights of 9 to 21 m (30 to 69 feet) and trunk diameters of 30 to 80 cm (12 to 31 inches). It sometimes forms buttress roots. The bark of the jackfruit tree is reddish-brown and smooth. In the event of injury to the bark, a milky sap is released.

The leaves are alternate and spirally arranged. They are gummy and thick and are divided into a petiole and a leaf blade. The petiole is 2.5 to 7.5 cm (1 to 3 inches) long. The leathery leaf blade is 20 to 40 cm (7 to 15 inches) long and 7.5 to 18 cm (3 to 7 inches) wide, and is oblong to ovate in shape.

In young trees, the leaf edges are irregularly lobed or split. On older trees, the leaves are rounded and dark green, with a smooth leaf margin. The leaf blade has a prominent main nerve and, starting on each side, six to eight lateral nerves. The stipules are egg-shaped at a length of 1.5 to 8 cm (9⁄16 to 3+1⁄8 inches).

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