Kwai Muk the useful tropical plants

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Kwai Muk the useful tropical plants

Kwai Muk Quick Facts
Name: Kwai Muk
Scientific Name: Artocarpus hypargyreus
Origin Sothern China, in Hong Kong, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, South Hunan, Jiangxi and southeast Yunnan
Colors Pale green turning to pale yellow to golden yellow
Shapes Irregular that are globose, ovate, or oblate having diameter of 1.5-2 inches
Flesh colors Dark pink to orange-red
Taste Pleasant, slightly sour taste
Artocarpus hypargyreus commonly known as Kwai Muk is a species of plant in the Moraceae family. The plant is native to Sothern China, in Hong Kong, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, South Hunan, Jiangxi and southeast Yunnan. Some of the common names of the plant are Silver-back Artocarpus and Sweet Artocarpus. The plant is inclined by territory loss; almost all species of Artocarpus are laticiferous trees or shrubs that are composed of leaves, twigs and stems capable of bringing into being a creamy sap.

Plant description

Kwai Muk is a fairly slow-growing evergreen tree that grows about 10–15 m (33–49) tall mature trees in Florida generally attains a height of 20-25 ft. The canopy is rounded and dense, with a width approximately equaling its height. The plant is found growing in most soils provided they are well-drained, but thrives best in mildly acid sandy soils. It will grow in calcareous soils but do suffer from chlorosis associated with iron, manganese and zinc deficiencies. Trunk is normally 40cm in diameter with dark purple, exfoliating barks.  Twigs are greyish and puberulent and stipules caduceus and linear.


The leaves are simple, elliptic to elliptic-ovate, 3-6 inches long, with a stiff, leathery texture, acuminate tips and entire margins. They are shiny and dark green on the upper surface and dull medium green on the lower surface; both surfaces are glabrous. The tree retains its leaves throughout the year and has an attractive appearance at all times. The stems, leaves and green fruits exude white, sticky latex when they are cut or broken.


The yellowish male and female flowers are borne in solitary, axillary, obovoid, separate inflorescences on the same tree. Minute flowers are joined and the inflorescence develops into a multiple fruit, a syncarp. Flowering occurs from May to July.


The fruit have a diameter of 1.5-2 inches and a weight of 0.5-1.5 oz. Fruit shape is irregular, being globose, ovate, or oblate. The skin is thin and easily broken. It is yellow at ripeness and covered with a fine, soft, short pubescence. The pulp is orange-red to red, very soft and tender, with a pleasant sub acid flavor. The fruit ripens from August to October. No yield records are available, but mature trees have the capability of producing 2000 fruit or more per year.

The fruit have 1-7 seeds, the number apparently affecting the size and shape of the fruit. Isolated trees often bear many small, seedless fruit, suggesting that the tree is self-incompatible and needs cross-pollination to produce viable seed and fruit of normal size. The seeds are whitish and ovoid, with a diameter of 0.3- 0.4 inch. Propagation has been done in Florida entirely by seed. Seed take several weeks to germinate and the young plants grow slowly. No research has been done on cultivar selection or vegetative propagation in Florida.


The Kwai muk is native to southern China, where it grows wild in Kwangtung Province, on Hainan Island, and in Hong Kong. Tree is occasionally cultivated in Southeast Asia but rarely elsewhere in the tropics. Although best adapted to a moist, warm, subtropical or tropical climate, the Kwai muk can withstand light frosts.

Culinary Uses

  • Ripe fruit has an excellent flavor and is eaten fresh or preserved with salt or sugar syrup.
  • Fruit can be dried; dried fruit still retains the good texture and flavor.
  • Fruit can also be dried or preserved in syrup.

Other Facts

  • Stem and leaves exude white latex when bruised.
  • Tree is small and attractive and lends itself well to landscaping on small urban properties.
  • Milky latex is used for making stiff rubber and the wood for furniture.
  • Wood is used for making furniture.
  • Kwai muk makes an attractive ornamental for landscaping in larger gardens.
  • Proli­c tree can produce more than 2,000 fruits per tree, per season.






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