Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is the common name for an edible tropical plant and also its fruit. It is native to the southern part of Brazil, and Paraguay, but is also grown in the southern part of the United States, on the islands off the southeastern coast, and in Hawaii. Pinaples vary in size according to the age of the plants.
The pineapple is a herbaceous perennial plant which grows to 1.0 to 1.5 metres (3.3 to 4.9 ft) tall with 30 or more trough-shaped and pointed leaves 30 to 100 centimetres (1.0 to 3.3 ft) long, surrounding a thick stem. It requires from 18 to 20 months for the fruit to develop, and most of the plants yield only four or five crops.
Since about 2000, the most common fresh pineapple fruit found in U.S. and European supermarkets is a low-acid hybrid that was developed in Hawaii in the early 1970s.

Pineapples have a great deal of flavor, and for this reason they are very valuable in the making of desserts, preserves, marmalades, and beverages of various kinds. It is said that the combination of pineapple and lemon will flavor a greater amount of food than any other fruit combined. Another characteristic of pineapples is that they are a good source of manganese (91 %DV in a 1 cup serving), they contain significant amounts of Vitamin C (94 %DV in a 1 cup serving) and Vitamin B1 (8 %DV in a 1 cup serving).

Pineapple also contains a proteolytic enzyme bromelain, which breaks down protein which aid considerably in the digestion of food. Pineapple juice can thus be used as a marinade and tenderizer for meat. The enzymes in raw pineapples can interfere with the preparation of some foods, such as jelly or other gelatin-based desserts. Its effect upon protein material can readily be observed by attempting to use raw pineapple in the making of a gelatine dessert. If the raw pineapple is put in gelatine, the gelatine will not solidify; but if the pineapple is heated sufficiently to destroy this enzyme, it has no effect whatsoever upon the gelatine. The bromelain breaks down in cooking or the canning process, thus canned pineapple can generally be used with gelatin.

When pineapples are to be selected, care should be exercised to see that they are ripe. The most certain way of determining this fact is to pull out the center leaves of each pineapple that is chosen. Grasp the pineapple with one hand and then with the other pull out, one at a time, several of the center leaves of the tuft at the top. If the fruit is ripe a sharp jerk will usually remove each leaf readily, but the harder the leaves pull, the greener the pineapple is.

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An overripe pineapple is just as unsatisfactory as one that is not ripe enough. When a pineapple becomes too ripe, rotten spots begin to develop around the base. Such spots can be easily detected by the discoloration of the skin and such a pineapple should not be selected.

The natural (or most common) pollinator of the pineapple is the hummingbird. Pollination is required for seed formation; the presence of seeds negatively affects the quality of the fruit. In Hawaii, where pineapple is cultivated on an agricultural scale, importation of hummingbirds is prohibited for this reason.

In commercial farming, pineapple flowering can be induced artificially, and the early harvesting of  the main fruit can encourage the development of a second crop of smaller fruits. Once removed during cleaning, the top of the pineapple can be planted in soil and a new fruit-bearing plant will grow in a manner similar to that of a potato or onion, which will sprout from a cutting. Crowns are the primary method of propagation for home gardeners, though slips and suckers are preferred.

While sweet, pineapple is known for its high acid content (perhaps malic and/or citric). Pineapples are also the only bromeliad fruit in widespread cultivation. It is one of the most commercially important plants which carry out CAM photosynthesis.

Consumers of pineapple have claimed that pineapple has benefits for some intestinal disorders and others believe it serves as a pain reliever; others claim that it helps to induce childbirth when a baby is overdue.

The pineapple root and fruit are either eaten or applied topically as an anti-inflammatory and as a proteolytic agent. It is also  traditionally used as an antihelminthic agent in the Philippines.