Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Seeds in Pineapples?



                                               A Young Pineapple in Bloom

It is possible to find seeds in a pineapple, especially in South America, where pineapples are native and growing naturally.  Commercially grown pineapples have no seeds due to the hybridization that has been conducted over many years.          
Consequently, lacking pollination, commercial pineapples are propagated asexually, not from seed.

Pineapples are self-sterile, meaning they cannot produce seeds if they pollinate themselves (self-pollination). To produce seeds, pineapples must be cross-pollinated.  All of the pineapples in one commercial field are genetically the same, so if pollen is transferred from one plant to another, it is still self-pollination. Cultivated pineapples could potentially produce seed if they were cross-pollinated – using pollen from another genetic source. 

When growing pineapple in the backyard, it is possible for pollination to take place between two different genetic types. Consequently, there is the potential for producing seeds. Luckily, the pineapple fruit itself will development even though no seeds develop. This is called parthenocarpy, the development of fruits without seeds. Some of our most popular fruits are seedless such as bananas and navel oranges.