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There is good evidence that the French navigator Sonnerat in 1772 obtained the seeded breadfruit in the Philippines and brought it to the French West Indies. It seems also that some seedless and seeded breadfruit plants reached Jamaica from a French ship bound for Martinique but captured by the British in 1782. There were at least two plants of the seeded breadfruit in Jamaica in 1784 and distributions were quickly made to the other islands.

There is a record of a plant having been sent from Martinique to the St. Vincent Botanical Garden before 1793. The story of Captain Bligh’s first voyage to Tahiti, in 1787, and the loss of his cargo of 1,015 potted breadfruit plants on his disastrous return voyage is well known. He set out again in 1791 and delivered 5 different kinds totaling 2,126 plants to Jamaica in February 1793.

On that island, the seedless breadfruit flourished and it came to be commonly planted in other islands of the West Indies, in the lowlands of Central America and northern South America. In some areas, only the seedless type is grown, in others, particularly Haiti, the seeded is more common. Jamaica is by far the leading producer of the seedless type, followed by St. Lucia. In New Guinea, only the seeded type is grown for food.

Via: Purdue
Image: @manhattan_in_puertorico