Breadfruit Institute

Breadfruit Collection at Kahanu Garden

Breadfruit Collection

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The breadfruit collection, located at the National Tropical Botanical Garden's (NTBG) Kahanu Garden, Maui, and the McBryde Garden, Kauai, was established in the 1970s to create a definitive collection of breadfruit and breadnut. The first trees were planted in 1978 with 25 varieties growing by 1982. Through the efforts of Diane Ragone, PhD, the collection was extensively expanded between 1988-1991 as part of a project to collect, describe and document traditional varieties and uses of breadfruit throughout the Pacific. Ethnographic and cultural information, herbarium specimens, photographs, provenance data, and propagating material were collected for 400 accessions in 45 islands. Additional varieties were received from horticulturists and agriculture departments in the region. Since the mid-1990s, another 150 accessions have been documented and collected. NTBG now manages the largest and most extensive collection of breadfruit species and varieties in the world and is preserving some varieties that no longer exist in their native lands. The collection contains 226 accessions and approximately 120 varieties from 34 islands in the Pacific (Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, French Polynesia, Guam, Hawaii, Kiribati, the Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Rotuma, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga and Vanuatu), as well as Indonesia, the Philippines, the Seychelles and Honduras. All three species of breadfruit/breadnut and natural hybrids are represented in the mapped and labeled collection. An extensive computerized database containing location, accession numbers, names, provenance information and general descriptions facilitates collection management. NTBG's unique breadfruit conservation collection represents a global resource in efforts to develop more sustainable agriculture, crop diversity and food security.