Ananas comosus grows from 50 cm to 1.5 metres tall, with a rosette of 30 to 40 stiff, waxy, strappy grey-green to reddish leaves up to 1 metre long and 4 cm wide.
The leaves are sometimes sharply serrated and grow spirally on a short stem, with a single, central flower spike. Our modern pineapples are seedless, but bees, sunbirds and hummingbirds are thought to have been their original pollinators.
Ananas comosus’ tough, waxy rind forms in hexagonal units which are dark-green, yellow, orange or red when the fruit ripens. The rind’s spiralling hexagonal pattern displays the Fibonacci sequence. The pineapple's sweet flesh ranges from nearly white to yellow, and commercial fruit can weigh up to 2.5 kg.
How long does it take to grow a pineapple?
Pineapples have a life cycle of about two and a half years. The fruit is seedless and juicy, ripening five to six months after flowering begins.