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Pandanus odoratissimus L.f.

Pandanus odoratissimus L.f.




Pandanus fascicularis Lamk, Pandanus sabotan Blanco, Pandanus tectorius auct. non Parkinson.

Vernacular Names




Pandanus, screwpine.


Pandan laut (Ma­lay, Sundanese), pandan pasir (Javanese).


Sabotan, sibutan (Tagalog), parauan (Gaddang).


Rumche:k (general).


(do:k) ke:d (Louang Prabang).


Kaa­raket, toei thale, lam chiak (central).


Gi[uwr]a (d[uwr]a) d[aj]i (Ha Nam Ninh).

Geographical Distributions

Pandanus odoratissimus is widely distributed on the Indo-Malaysian coasts from India and Sri Lanka throughout Southeast Asia to Taiwan, the Ryukyu Islands and Micronesia. It is the predomi­nant wild Pandanus of the sandy coasts in Malay­sia, but it is also often cultivated inland.


Pandanus odoratissimus is a coarsely branched tree. It can grow up to 12-14 m tall with open crown. The trunk is erect or more or less decumbent, and measures up to 20 cm in diam­etre. It is grey, and with prop roots near the base.

The adult leaves are usually 20-30 times longer than wide, and measure up to 3 m x 9 cm. The margins and dorsal midrib are armed with usually forwardly directed, very sharp prickles that are 5-10 mm long. The apex is gradually narrowed to an elongated flagella. The youngest leaves are erect with the older ones droop from the midpoint. They are glaucous, and with 40-160 parallel veins but not prominent.

The male inflorescence is 30-60 cm long and usually with 5-11 spikes, which are 5-10 cm long. The bracts are less than 30 cm long. The phalanges are 10-15 mm long, bearing 19-26 sta­mens with filaments 0.5-2 mm. The anthers are 2-3.5 mm long and with pointed apex 0.5 mm long. The female inflorescence is usually with one single head on a peduncle 10-30 cm long. The bracts are sub­fleshy, navicular and with prickly midrib and mar­gins. The head is spherical to ellipsoid, measuring 15-20(-30) cm x 12-18(-20) cm and it contains (26-)50-70(-143) car­pellate phalanges (and each cluster is pentagonal or hexagonal). The phalanges measure 3-8 cm x 2-5 cm and are com­posed of 4-10 concentrically arranged and fused carpels. The stigma is U- or V-shaped.

The aggregated fruit is orange-red while the carpel clusters are free from each other but tightly crowded, whereas the endocarp is red-brown. The seed is spindle-shaped to obovoid, measures 10-12 mm long, and with white and soft endosperm.

Ecology / Cultivation

Pandanus odoratissimus is found on sandy beaches, in littoral thick­ets, on the edges of brackish marshes and man­groves, and inland along watercourses at low altitudes. Rainfall should be high. It can grow on a wide range of soils, but heavy, poorly drained loams are not suitable.

Line Drawing / Photograph


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1.       Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.17: Fibre plants.

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