Common Name

Hawaiian Name

Scientific Name
Artocarpis altilis







Whole Plant

Location On Campus

The breadfruit tree is located in the 4th grade garden next to Kalama.

Natural Habitat

It's natural habitat is in all the main Hawaiian islands and in mountain areas with hot moist climates.

Cultural Information

The ulu tree is Polynesian introduced. The ancient Polynesians used the tree stem for making surfboards, small canoes, drums, and spears. The sap of the tree was used for healing infected sores and stopping infection usually around the mouth.

Plant Description


  • Fibrous roots
  • Brownish tan in color
  • Rough texture


  • Woody stem
  • Brown in color
  • Texture is rigid
  • Grows strait up to about 9 meters


  • About 30 cm in width
  • Simple leaf


  • Male and Female flower grow on the same tree
  • Male flower is club shaped with yellow skin
  • Female has a larger body, with a large receptacle
  • Self pollinating


  • Large cluster of the plants ovaries that are fused together
  • Diameter is about 240 cm
  • Polynesians used it for medicine.


  • Hawaiian version has no seeds

Life Cycle/

  • Male flower reproduces the female on the same tree
  • Roots shoot out of submerged roots of the main tree 


  • From underground shoots that are from the main tree roots
  • Sometimes cut off to plant an make more breadfruit trees

Interesting facts:

  • A single breadfruit can grow to be anywhere from 20 to 25 cm in diameter, and can weigh up to ten pounds

Web Site Links

 Ho'okele Hawaii

If you need to find out how the Polynesians chose the ulu tree and how they made canoes use this site. It shows how they prepared the ulu tree to take the shape of the canoe or any other utensil.

National Tropical Botanical Garden

For information on the ulu tree, from its fruits size to how it was used for medicine this site can really help. It shows what other medicines were made from the fruit and the rest of the plant.


Abbott, A. Isebella. La'au Hawaii Traditional Hawaiian uses of Plants, Honolulu: Bess Press, 1987.

Krauss H. Beatrice. Plants in Hawaiian Medicine, Hawaii: Bess Press Inc., 2001.

Lucas, Lois. Plants of old Hawaii, Honolulu: Bess Press, 1982.

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