Editor's Note: Chanie Kirschner is a writer for Mother Nature Network. The original article appeared here.
Even though pineapples are considered a fruit (and a fruit generally comes from trees -- unless it’s a berry), pineapples actually grow on a plant close to the ground. Each pineapple plant bears exactly one pineapple. So where did pineapple come from in the first place?
Most of us think of pineapples as coming from Hawaii, but that is not exactly the case. Pineapples are a member of the bromeliad family, which is indigenous to the Americas (mostly South America), but has been found in Africa as well. By far the most famous plant in the bromeliad family, pineapples were first brought over to Spain by Christopher Columbus in 1493.
The pineapple -- which is no relation to pine trees or apples -- got its name through the combination of the Spanish “pina” (so named because it reminded them of a pine cone) and the English “apple” (so named because of its sweet taste).
Back in Europe in the 17th century, pineapples were grown in greenhouses and were a symbol of opulence and wealth, only adorning the banquet tables of the very rich. Fast-forward to today, and pineapples are everywhere.