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Latin name: Ananas comosus
Superpowers: Too unusual to eat
Where from: Brazil
Pineapples were discovered by Christopher Columbus about 500 years ago and because they were very rare, royalty would serve them at dinner to impress people. They were so unusual that they were called ‘The King of Fruits’ and very often they would not be eaten, but would go on to other dinner parties to impress other guests.
They are hard to grow in the UK so in the 18th Century people spent lots of money building specially designed ‘pineapple pits’ that were heated to just the right temperature using stoves and about 15 tonnes of manure. And they still took up to three years to produce a fruit, if you were lucky. Only the very best kitchen gardens could grow them and, at the time, it was the same idea as showing off by having a fast car or expensive trainers. You can see old pineapple pits at the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall.
The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.