Pineapples: A Symbol of Hospitality Design

It may come as a surprise to you, but the pineapple is more than just a delicious, citrus fruit. The pineapple actually serves as a symbol of welcoming hospitality, warmth and friendship in the home.

This traditional symbolism was primarily seen in the Southern US and areas along the Eastern seaboard, carved into wooden rocking chairs, displayed on door knockers and woven into welcome mats.

However, it can be seen as holding universal significance today.

The first account of the pineapple as an offering of friendship was given to Christopher Columbus on the island of Guadalupe. In Europe in the 1400’s, the pineapple was a rare fruit to acquire especially due to its expense since it was unable to be grown in climates other than the “New World.” Thus, the wealthy and royal were primarily the ones enjoying, serving and presenting this delicacy. It was seen as a symbol of status but also an offering to guests demonstrating the importance of their arrival in their homes or estates.

In the 1800’s, colonial America fell in love with this fruit and its symbolism and adopted it into their interior, exterior and architectural design. If you want to integrate this symbol into your home to share those qualities with guests you can easily do this by having a pineapple or pineapple topiary as the centerpiece when hosting dinner parties or events.

Who knew the pineapple would have such an interesting and symbolic origin?!