Ananas comosus is the botanical name of the fruit known as the pineapple. Native to South America, it was named for its resemblance to a pine cone. Christopher Columbus is credited with bringing attention to the fruit when he found it on the island of Guadeloupe in 1493. Today, Hawaii produces only 10 percent of the world's pineapple crops. Other countries contributing to the pineapple industry include Mexico, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Philippines, Thailand, Costa Rica, and China.
The pineapple plant is low-growing with spiky leaves protruding from the ground. The leaves are the same shape as the greenery on the top of the fruit, which grows on a central stem from the plant. It takes about two years for the plant to produce a single pineapple fruit with its bright yellow, fibrous flesh and skin covered with vibrant "eyes." Pineapple is common in supermarkets, easy to cut up, and, considering how much fruit you get, relatively inexpensive.