There are hundreds of known varieties (cultivars) of breadfruit in our world today and more yet to be recorded. Breadfruit trees are as diverse as they are vital. Trees produce fruit that look completely different when compared to another cultivar, ranging from dark green and weighing as much as a watermelon, to lavender color and apple-sized. Leaves are long and slender with deep, curving lobes to wide and round with barely any lobes at all.
Cultivars not only differ in appearance (morphology); they also vary in flavor, texture, nutritional composition, timing of fruit production, tree size and shape, and suitability to various growing conditions. Crop biodiversity increases ecosystem productivity and human health, further reinforcing the importance of studying and conserving these unique and useful cultivars.
Breadfruit is the signature tree of the National Tropical Botanical Garden and its emblematic logo. The breadfruit collection was established in the 1970s with the vision of creating a definitive genebank of breadfruit and breadnut. The Breadfruit Institute is responsible for curating the world’s largest repository of breadfruit diversity with 150 cultivars conserved today.