Order XXXI. Artocarpaceae, Lindley.
Artocarpeae, J. Brown; Endl.
Characters.—Flowers unisexual, in dense heads. Males:—Calyx 0, or consisting of 2—4 sepals. Stamens opposite the sepals. Females:—Flowers arranged over a fleshy receptacle. Calyx tubular, with a 2—4-cleft or entire limb. Ovary free, 1-celled. Ovules suspended. Fruit surrounded by a dry or fleshy receptacle, or composed of consolidated fleshy calyxes, within which lies a multitude of nuts. Seeds erect, parietal or pendulous. Embryo more or less albuminous, straight, with the radicle directed towards the vertex of the ovary.—Trees or shrubs, with a milky juice. Leaves alternate. Stipules large, convolute.
Properties.—The milky juice is variable in quality: in some species being poisonous, in some edible, in others neither. It usually, if not invariably, contains caoutchouc.—The Artocarpus incisa, or Bread fruit tree, and the A. integrifolia or Jak fruit, deserve notice on account of their important alimentary uses. Artocarpus incisa is a native of the islands of the Pacific and of the Moluccas. Its fruit is to the inhabitants of Polynesia what corn is to the people of the other parts of the world. Artocarpus integrifolia is cultivated throughout southern India, and all the warmer parts of Asia. Its fruit forms a very considerable article of food in Ceylon. [Hooker, Bot. Mag. vol. ii. N. S.]