Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Pine-apple (Ananas sativa), a South American biennial plant belonging to the Bromeliaoeae, with rigid, spinous, aloe-like leaves, and a remarkable infruitescence, all the scaly perianth-leaves and the fruits of a flowering branch becoming imbedded in the exterior of the fleshy mass of the branch. This branch terminates in a crown of leaves, and externally resembles in its rhomboid withered flowers the cone or "apple" of the pine (q.v.), whence its name. Though fibrous, this branch becomes one of the sweetest and most delicately and distinctively flavoured of dessert "fruits." First known to Europeans in Peru about the middle of the 16th century, the first to reach England came as a present to Oliver Cromwell. The pine-apple may have been grown in this country as early as the reign of Charles II.; and, though expensive to cultivate, owing to the heat necessary, English-grown specimens surpass those of the tropics both in size and flavour. We now import great quantities from the Azores and Bahamas, both fresh and preserved in syrup.