The Pineapple

As the blog sub-title suggests, there’s pineapples involved in this here blog.

Among the various interests that I have, amateur horticulture is one of them.  There’s just so much to be fascinated by in the plant kingdom.

For example, did you know that technically, all of the commercially grown Hass avocados that we eat today are genetic clones of a single plant that was discovered in 1926The same is true of navel oranges as well:

According to Dorsett, Shamel, and Popenoe (1917) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture who conducted a study at first hand, a single mutation in 1810 to 1820 in a Selecta orange tree planted at a monastery near Bahia in Brazil, probably yielded the navel orange, also known as the Washington, Riverside, or Bahia navel. However, a researcher at the University of California, Riverside, believes that the parent variety was more likely the Portuguese navel (Umbigo) orange described by Risso and Poiteau (1818–22).

Today, navel oranges continue to be produced through cutting and grafting. This does not allow for the usual selective breeding methodologies, and so not only do the navel oranges of today have exactly the same genetic makeup as the original tree, and are therefore clones, all navel oranges can be considered to be the fruit of that single nearly two-hundred-year-old tree.

Pretty amazing.

The pineapple plant is kind of interesting as well.  I first took an interest in it a few years ago after I discovered that you can grow a new pineapple plant simply by twisting off the top of an existing pineapple fruit.  I thought “Man, that’s kind of cool”.  This was before stores like Ikea and Lowes started selling the miniature pineapples (I still have no idea how they’ve gotten theirs to fruit…..).

So thus started my quest to grow a pineapple.

I’ve had various plants in the past, but here’s a shot of my current plant:

My 4-5 year old pineapple

I think this is my second or third pineapple and I’ve had it for about 4-5 years now.  It’s actually a great houseplant:

  • Doesn’t need a whole lot of water, even in the winter months.
  • Doesn’t seem to be susceptible to disease and pests.
  • Pet resistant: the cats smartened up pretty quickly and stopped trying to eat it 😀

But I haven’t yet gotten it to fruit.  I’m definitely looking forward to it as I’ve read that the flower is incredibly fragrant.