Pineapples Aren’t Native To Hawaii: The Story Of James Dole And Hawaiian Gold

By | July 17, 2019

test article image
Hawaii and pineapple go hand in hand...but it wasn't always so. Source: (

(Photo by Jonathan Colon)

Despite all evidence to the contrary, pineapples are not a native fruit of Hawaii. However, the rich Hawaiian soil and the balmy climate make it an ideal location for growing the tasty fruit. That, combined with the marketing genius of a Harvard-educated agriculturist/entrepreneur with an eye toward improving Hawaii's economy, led to the pineapple's close association with the state. Let's look at how this came about. 

test article image
Hawaii's rich soil is ideal for growing pineapples. Source: (

The Transplanted Pineapple

While the Hawaiian Islands have an abundance of native fruits, the pineapple isn't one of them. Pineapples originated in South American, and it is believed that they were first brought to the islands by Spanish missionaries and explorers anywhere between the 1500s and 1770. It still took a while for it to become known as the state's chief crop, which was sugar cane at the time. The fruit needed some help to become a global phenomenon.