Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

Pandanus tectorius

Pandanaceae

Screw Pine

Description

This distinctive small tree grows to 5 m high. The separate male and female plants flower throughout the year. The female plant has huge fruits made up of segments containing individual seeds. The leaves, up to 1 m long, are arranged in spirals and crowd on the ends of the branches. The stem and branches are ringed with distinct leaf scars. The tree also grows robust prop roots from the base of its trunk.

Where it is found

Pandanus occurs on exposed coastal headlands and along beaches north from the Port Macquarie district into Queensland.

Uses

  • The ripe red segments of the fruit are roasted and lower fibrous parts are eaten.
  • The seeds found in woody cavities in each segment can also be roasted and eaten.
  • The leaves are used to make bags and mats.
  • A gargle for sores in the mouth can be made by using the juice from the pounded inner core of the growing tip (Isaacs 1987).

Further information

Click here for further information on Pandanus tectorius.

Pandanus tectorius
The Screw Pine (Pandanus tectorius) is a common sight on the headlands of the north coast of NSW into Queensland.

Pandanus-tectorius
Pandanus tectorius: fruit, habit.