Director, Breadfruit Institute National Tropical Botanical Garden

Appointed Director of the Breadfruit Institute in 2003, Diane Ragone has worked at the National Tropical Botanical Garden since 1989. She is an authority on the conservation and use of breadfruit, conducting horticultural and ethnobotanical studies on this important Pacific staple crop for 30 years. Her extensive fieldwork on over 50 islands in Micronesia, Polynesia, and Melanesia enabled the NTBG to establish the world's largest collection of breadfruit at its Kahanu Garden in Hāna, Maui. The Breadfruit Institute was created to promote the conservation and use of breadfruit for food and reforestation.


  • Collaborative projects to develop in vitro methods to conserve and distribute breadfruit cultivars
  • Nutritional and salinity studies
  • Molecular and morphological studies to understand taxonomic relationships, origin, and distribution of breadfruit in the Pacific
  • Ethnobotanical studies on traditional uses of breadfruit in Polynesia and Micronesia

The Breadfruit Institute at the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii manages the largest and most extensive breadfruit collection in the world. The collection contains more than 120 varieties from throughout the Pacific region, the Seychelles, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The Breadfruit Institute is actively involved in programs to study and conserve breadfruit diversity.

The Breadfruit Institute is engaged in an initiative to respond to critical global food security issues by expanding plantings of good quality breadfruit varieties in tropical regions. It is developing partnerships to make breadfruit varieties available as a viable sustainable resource for agriculture, agroforestry, and reforestation.

Diane Ragone
3530 Papalina Road Kalaheo
Kauai, Hawaii 96741

ragone@ntbg.org - 808-332-7324

FIU International Center for Tropical Botany