The tropical pineapple we all know today belongs to the Bromeliaceae. Although this family consists mainly of epiphytic plants, Ananas comosus is a terrestrial herbaceous perennial with thorny leaves and a spike-like flower, which is pollinated by hummingbirds and produces a huge fruit that is nothing more than the fusion of the small berries that each flower on the spike generates.
The popular name "tropical pineapple" is simply the identification of the fruit by its resemblance to the cone of a conifer. Ananas comes from the Guarani naná naná: "perfume of perfumes", while the Latin epithet comosus (meaning "hairy") is used in botany to refer to the leafiness of a plant's leaves.
Its place of origin is thought to be the South American Cerrado and La Plata basin, between Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. Given its interest for man, its expansion has been promoted, reaching the Amazon, Venezuela and the Guianas. Pineapples are represented in Moche pottery (northern coast of Peru), which indicates that the Moche culture (between the 2nd and 7th centuries) was already familiar with this species. In the 16th century it spread to Europe and the tropical areas of Africa and Asia. It is currently the second largest tropical crop in terms of volume, second only to the banana.