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PANDANUS (Pandanus forsteri)
Biodiversity > Plants > Trees

Pandanus forsteri

Pandanus forsteri                                Family PANDANACEAE


This endemic tree is unmistakable with its long prop roots which support the tree as the main stem rots. Common on the lowland, mainly in wet areas and watercourses, some found as high as 400m. The leaves have been used in Island craft of basket weaving. The genus of about 700 species is distributed in the tropical and subtropical Old World.

A tall tree to 13m high, with many prop roots 3 to 7m long. Leaves clustered at the ends of branches; linear, 100-150cm X 5cm, smoothly recurved, deeply channeled in the middle; small sharp prickles along the margins. Flowers (Dec-Apr) separate male and female trees, males less common. Male inflorescence 50cm long, terminal, branched into dense spikes, each enclosed in a white bract; each flower reduced to a single stamen on a short stalk; female inflorescence a small compound head buried in the terminal leaves, each flower reduced to a single pistil. Fruit red when ripe, a dense cluster of compound fruits with the walls fused together, and surrounded by fibrous sugary pulp; the whole fruit forming a cylinder to 20cm X 15cm.

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