Kwai Muk tree. Kwai Muk flower. Spacer.
Kwai Muk Tree (left), Kwai Muk flower, right.

Kwai Muk

Artocarpus hypargyraeus

Origin:

Native to China and not very widely known around the world apart from collectors.

Climate:

Sub-tropical. Can be damaged by frosts and sub-zero temperatures may kill the tree.

Plant Description:

It is a slow-growing, small evergreen tree. The canopy is compact, with beautiful glossy green leaves that would earn it a place in many gardens.

Relatives:

Belongs to the Moraceae Family, related to jakfruit, breadfruit, mulberries and figs.

Soils:

Preference for well-drained, mildly acid soil. It can survive brief flooding.

Propagation:

Propagation is largely by seeds.

Cultivars:

There are no widely recognised varieties.

Flowering and Pollination:

It is monoecious but relatively self-sterile, with isolated trees setting many small seedless fruit.

Cultivation:

Give water during extended dry spells. Grow in full sun, or very lightly shaded. May need foliar sprays of zinc and manganese and soil application of iron chelates.

Wind Tolerance:

Unknown.

Pruning:

Prune only to remove dead branches, and to decrease the height or width of the tree.

The Fruit:

Fruit size, normally 5-7cm in diameter, depends on the effectiveness of pollination; similarly fruit shape can be irregular if pollination is only partial. Like the jackfruit, the fruit is a syncarp. When ripe, skin colour is yellow and pulp is orange-red with a pleasant sub-acid flavour.

Fruit must be completely ripe. Unripe fruits produce white, sticky latex. Ripening happens quickly, in 1 to 3 days.

Fruit Production and Harvesting:

Yield can be up to 2000 fruits per tree under ideal conditions. Pick when totally ripe. Fruits mature in autumn.

Fruit Uses:

Eaten fresh. Pulp can be used for desserts and baking.

Pests and Diseases:

None observed.

Comments:

An attractive tree, good fruit, worthy of garden space.