Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Pandanus tectorius
(screw pine)

Toolbox

Datasheet

Pandanus tectorius (screw pine)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 16 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Documented Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Pandanus tectorius
  • Preferred Common Name
  • screw pine
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Monocotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Pandanus trees, commonly known collectively as screw pines, are some of the most useful and well-known trees in the Pacific region, and perhaps second only to coconut in their importance. Their prop roots, show...

Don't need the entire report?

Generate a print friendly version containing only the sections you need.

Generate report

Pictures

Top of page
PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Pandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); habit. Keopuka, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April, 2005.
TitleHabit
CaptionPandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); habit. Keopuka, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April, 2005.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Pandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); habit. Keopuka, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April, 2005.
HabitPandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); habit. Keopuka, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April, 2005.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Pandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); habit. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2009.
TitleHabit
CaptionPandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); habit. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2009.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Pandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); habit. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2009.
HabitPandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); habit. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2009.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Pandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); habit on coast. Hanawi stream, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July, 2003.
TitleHabit
CaptionPandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); habit on coast. Hanawi stream, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July, 2003.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Pandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); habit on coast. Hanawi stream, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July, 2003.
HabitPandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); habit on coast. Hanawi stream, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July, 2003.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Pandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); habit. Ohialani Haiku, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July, 2012.
TitleHabit
CaptionPandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); habit. Ohialani Haiku, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July, 2012.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Pandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); habit. Ohialani Haiku, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July, 2012.
HabitPandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); habit. Ohialani Haiku, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July, 2012.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Pandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); leaves. Kahanu Gardens Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2012.
TitleLeaves
CaptionPandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); leaves. Kahanu Gardens Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2012.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Pandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); leaves. Kahanu Gardens Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2012.
LeavesPandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); leaves. Kahanu Gardens Hana, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2012.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Pandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); habit, showing prop-roots and canopy. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2004.
TitleHabit
CaptionPandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); habit, showing prop-roots and canopy. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2004.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Pandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); habit, showing prop-roots and canopy. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2004.
HabitPandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); habit, showing prop-roots and canopy. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2004.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Pandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); dense habit. Pali o Waipio, Maui, Hawaii, USA. November, 2012.
TitleDense habit
CaptionPandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); dense habit. Pali o Waipio, Maui, Hawaii, USA. November, 2012.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Pandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); dense habit. Pali o Waipio, Maui, Hawaii, USA. November, 2012.
Dense habitPandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); dense habit. Pali o Waipio, Maui, Hawaii, USA. November, 2012.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Pandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); bark. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2004.
TitleBark
CaptionPandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); bark. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2004.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Pandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); bark. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2004.
BarkPandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); bark. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2004.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Pandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); trunk. Kiphahulu Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April, 2004.
TitleTrunk
CaptionPandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); trunk. Kiphahulu Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April, 2004.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Pandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); trunk. Kiphahulu Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April, 2004.
TrunkPandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); trunk. Kiphahulu Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April, 2004.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Pandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); fruit and foliage. Kanaha Pond, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2003.
TitleFruit
CaptionPandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); fruit and foliage. Kanaha Pond, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2003.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Pandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); fruit and foliage. Kanaha Pond, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2003.
FruitPandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); fruit and foliage. Kanaha Pond, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2003.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Pandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); unripe fruit. Nr Midway Memorial, Sand Island, Midway Atoll. June, 2008.
TitleFruit
CaptionPandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); unripe fruit. Nr Midway Memorial, Sand Island, Midway Atoll. June, 2008.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Pandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); unripe fruit. Nr Midway Memorial, Sand Island, Midway Atoll. June, 2008.
FruitPandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); unripe fruit. Nr Midway Memorial, Sand Island, Midway Atoll. June, 2008.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Pandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); seedlings amongst husks. Kipahulu, Maui, Hawaii, USA. December, 2003.
TitleSeedlings
CaptionPandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); seedlings amongst husks. Kipahulu, Maui, Hawaii, USA. December, 2003.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Pandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); seedlings amongst husks. Kipahulu, Maui, Hawaii, USA. December, 2003.
SeedlingsPandanus tectorius (screwpine, hala); seedlings amongst husks. Kipahulu, Maui, Hawaii, USA. December, 2003.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0

Identity

Top of page

Preferred Scientific Name

  • Pandanus tectorius Parkinson

Preferred Common Name

  • screw pine

Other Scientific Names

  • Pandanus bagea Miq.
  • Pandanus baptistii hort. ex Misonne
  • Pandanus pedunculatus R.Br.
  • Pandanus pyriformis (Martelli) H.St.John
  • Pandanus robinsonii Merr.
  • Pandanus spurius (Willd.) Miq.
  • Pandanus veitchii Mast.

International Common Names

  • English: pandan; pandang; pandanus; screwpine; screw-pine; Tahiti screw pine; textile screw-pine; textile screw-pine; Veitch screw-pine
  • Spanish: bacua
  • French: baquais; baquois; pandanus; vacouet; vacquois
  • Arabic: kadi

Local Common Names

  • Brazil: pandano
  • Fiji: vadra; voi voi
  • Germany: Chinesischer; Pandanuspalme; Schraubenbaum
  • Guam: kafu
  • Indonesia: pandan pudak; pandang
  • Italy: ananasso delle China
  • Kiribati: te kaina
  • Marshall Islands: bob
  • Micronesia, Federated states of: ajbwirok; anewetak; binu; choy; deipw; fach; far; hala; kipar
  • Nauru: epo
  • Palau: ongor
  • Portugal: pandano
  • Samoa: fala; lau fala
  • Tonga: fa; fafa; falahola; kukuvalu; laufala; lou’akau
  • Tuvalu: fala; lau fala
  • USA/Hawaii: hala; pu hala
  • Vanuatu: pandanas

EPPO code

  • PADTE (Pandanus tectorius)

Summary of Invasiveness

Top of page

Pandanus trees, commonly known collectively as screw pines, are some of the most useful and well-known trees in the Pacific region, and perhaps second only to coconut in their importance. Their prop roots, showy flowers and huge edible fruits make them very distinctive, and they form a part of local mythology and folklore. P. tectorius is native to coastal areas in and around the Pacific, although taxonomic confusion means that it is often reported as present elsewhere. Pandanus species are colonizers of disturbed coastline, and P. tectorius has been noted as showing invasive potential in its native Hawaii, but records of it from Asia are likely to be misidentifications and refer to other, closely related species. Whereas Pandanus species, and P. tectorius in particular, show the ability to colonize and spread in coastal plant communities and may form dense stands throughout the Pacific, they are also highly valued for the diverse products and services they provide, including as sources of food from their fleshy fruits and of fibre from their leaves.  As such, and noting that there are very few records of exotic naturalization, P. tectorius is considered to have only low potential for invasiveness beyond its native habitats.

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Monocotyledonae
  •                     Order: Pandanales
  •                         Family: Pandanaceae
  •                             Genus: Pandanus
  •                                 Species: Pandanus tectorius

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page

Pandanus is a large and variable genus, with 30 selected species listed by USDA-ARS (2015), more than 100 named in The Plant List (2013), but with the actual number probably over 400 (Tim Gallaher, personal communication, 2015). This difference in classification is also seen in the treatment of synonymy, with a remarkable 288 different synonyms listed in The Plant List (2013), but these are not replicated in the associated tables of this datasheet. However, there are clearly ‘good’ species, although the limits to these do not appear to be entirely clear. The synonyms here include the two in USDA-ARS (2015), P. baptistii and P. veitchii, and three mentioned in Thomson et al. (2006), P. pedunculatus, P. pyriformis and P. spurius. Below the species level, many varieties are recognized in the traditional sense, bearing separate local names, and many of these were intentionally introduced in the Pacific region prior to the arrival of Europeans and since.

Further use of molecular markers and other genetic studies may clarify this taxonomic confusion, although the existence of cultivated varieties and the wide geographic spread of the genus mean that genetic variation is likely to be high in any given location. For example, much confusion exists with similar species complexes, especially P. fascicularis Lam., which according to USDA-ARS (2015) includes as synonyms P. tectorius var. sinensis Warb, P. odoratissimus auct. and P. odorifer auct., but attention to naming authorities is required, as also included as a separate taxon is P. odorifer (Forssk.) Kuntze, with P. odoratissimus L. f. as a synonym.

Thomson et al. (2006) proposed a realistic taxonomic overview of Pandanus in their description of P. tectorius, and it is accepted for the purposes of this datasheet: “P. tectorius is recognized as a highly variable species complex” and “numerous, often minor, morphological variants of pandanus have been recognized and formally described as species, mostly by St John.” They also considered that “The concept of variety is useful to designate socio-economically important, and/or striking and unusual forms.”

The taxonomic confusion may also impact common names, especially where introduced. USDA-ARS (2015) refers to P. utilis as the common screw pine, and P. tectorius as the Tahiti screw pine, textile screw pine or thatch screw pine, though the name screw pine is generally applied to many different Pandanus species without specification.

Description

Top of page

P. tectorius is a small tree to 14 m tall, 18 m on more fertile sites, and with about the same canopy spread (except in taller plants). Plants of most varieties are stout, many branching, and have numerous aerial and prop roots and thick, often spiny trunks, though trees with 4-8 m clear bole are known. Trunk diameter may reach 12–25 cm, or more only in exceptional circumstances. Bark is greyish or reddish brown, smooth or flaky, with characteristic undulating leaf scars and rows of prickles, though differences between the sea or windward side and the leeward face are noted. P. tectorius is dioecious. Male plants are usually more branched, with up to about 30 branches (maximum 60), than females, which have up to about 15 branches (maximum 30). Flowers are borne in heads at the shoot apex. Female flowers resemble pineapples, while male flowers are fragrant, tiny, white, pendant, arranged in racemes or branched in clusters, with large white showy bracts, and only last for about a day. There is considerable variation in leaf shape and size, both on and among trees, but often being spirally arranged in three rows, and clustered at branch apices. Leaves are dark green, 1-3 m long and 11-16 cm wide, linear with a gradually attenuating apex, M-­shaped in cross section, with short spiny or prickly 2.5 mm long midribs and margins, although a few varieties have leaves with smooth margins. In fully expanded leaves, the midrib is bent, and the upper third of the leaf hangs down, giving plants their characteristic drooping appearance. The fruit head varies considerably in morphology, and may be ovoid, ellipsoid, subglobose or globose, 8-30 cm long and 4-20 cm in diameter, comprised of 40-200 tightly bunched, wedge­-shaped fleshy ‘keys’, phalanges or drupes, narrowly oblong to ovoid, 3-11 cm long and 2-6 cm wide. The red­brown seeds are obovoid, ellipsoid or oblong, 6-20 mm long (adapted from Thomson et al., 2006).

Plant Type

Top of page Broadleaved
Perennial
Seed propagated
Tree
Vegetatively propagated
Woody

Distribution

Top of page

According to USDA-ARS (2015), P. tectorius is native to the Pacific region (Micronesia, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu), the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, parts of Indonesia (including Irian Jaya, Java and the Moluccas) and Queensland in Australia. Thomson et al. (2006) agree that it is native to northern Australia as well as having a much wider native range in the Pacific islands, including Hawaii, a view which is accepted here. The Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (2014) records it as present throughout coastal Queensland, and also in northern New South Wales, on Lord Howe Island and in East Timor. However, the exact limit of its native range is obscured by probable introductions in more recent times.

P. tectorius is reported as introduced to Puerto Rico (USDA-NRCS, 2015), though further clarification as to the exact identity appears necessary. In their detailed study of invasive species in the Caribbean, Kairo et al. (2003) made no mention of P. tectorius, with the only Pandanus included being P. utilis in Bermuda. Pandanus species are present in Puerto Rico’s San Juan Botanical Garden, although the exact species has not been expertly reaffirmed in the light of recent taxonomic revisions. The status of P. tectorius outside of its native range requires further study.

Pandanus trees are not an uncommon feature in botanic collections throughout the tropics and subtropics, though again, noting the taxonomic confusion, the stated name may not necessarily be accurate. Records of P. tectorius from elsewhere are thus considered to be misidentifications, possibly relating to P. odoratissimus (= P. odorifer) or other closely related species, for example in India (Rajesh Kumar and Bharati, 2013), China (Zhu et al., 2012), Malaysia (Sheltami et al., 2012), and throughout the Caribbean and China (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2014), where P. fascicularis, P. odoratissimus and P. sinensis, amongst others, are all treated as synonyms.

Distribution Table

Top of page

The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasivePlantedReferenceNotes

Asia

East TimorPresentNativeCouncil of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2014
IndonesiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
-Irian JayaPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2015
-JavaPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2015
-MoluccasPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2015
PhilippinesPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2015

Central America and Caribbean

Puerto RicoPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015

Oceania

American SamoaPresentNativeThomson et al., 2006
AustraliaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Lord Howe Is.PresentNativeCouncil of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2014
-New South WalesLocalisedNativeCouncil of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2014present in northern NSW
-QueenslandPresentNative Natural Thomson et al., 2006; Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2014; USDA-ARS, 2015
Cook IslandsPresentNativeThomson et al., 2006
FijiPresentNativeThomson et al., 2006
French PolynesiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
GuamPresentNativeThomson et al., 2006
KiribatiPresentNativeThomson et al., 2006
Marshall IslandsPresentNativeThomson et al., 2006
Micronesia, Federated states ofPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2015
NauruPresentNativeThomson et al., 2006
New CaledoniaPresentNative Natural Thomson et al., 2006
NiuePresentNativeThomson et al., 2006
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentNativeThomson et al., 2006
PalauPresentNativeThomson et al., 2006
Papua New GuineaPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2015
SamoaPresentNativeThomson et al., 2006
Solomon IslandsPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
TokelauPresentNativeThomson et al., 2006
TongaPresentNativeThomson et al., 2006
TuvaluPresentNativeThomson et al., 2006
VanuatuPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
Wallis and Futuna IslandsPresentNativeThomson et al., 2006

History of Introduction and Spread

Top of page

Pandanaceae, the screw pine family, is made up of some 750 species that are widely distributed throughout the tropics. The P. tectorius species complex, the most widespread group within the family, is thought to have originated in eastern Queensland and spread from there to encompass nearly the entire geographic extent of the family from Africa through Polynesia (Gallaher et al., 2015).

Risk of Introduction

Top of page

Although P. tectorius naturally colonizes and spreads in coastal plant communities and may form dense stands throughout the Pacific, it is also highly valued for providing diverse products and services, and is considered to have a low potential for invasiveness beyond its natural habitats (Thomson et al., 2006).

Habitat

Top of page

P. tectorius occurs naturally in tropical and subtropical coastal areas, especially on sandy and rocky beaches, raised coral terraces and recent lava flows, but including brackish areas on saline soils, coral atoll sands and peaty swamps. P. tectorius is normally found only in coastal habitats up to 20 m elevation, though it will grow at higher altitudes, for example up to 600 m in Hawaii (Little and Skolmen, 1989). P. tectorius is moderately fire tolerant and is found occurring naturally in coastal grasslands that undergo regular burning. Low to moderate intensity fires may be important for long term maintenance of native stands, with P. tectorius trees being more fire tolerant than many native tree species in similar habitats (Thomson et al., 2006).

Habitat List

Top of page
CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Littoral
Coastal areas Principal habitat Natural
Coastal areas Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
Coastal dunes Present, no further details Natural
Coastal dunes Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Intertidal zone Principal habitat Natural
Mangroves Principal habitat Natural
Mud flats Principal habitat Natural
Salt marshes Principal habitat Natural
Terrestrial-managed
Cultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Natural
Cultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial-natural/semi-natural
Natural forests Present, no further details
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Natural
Rocky areas / lava flows Present, no further details Natural

Biology and Ecology

Top of page

Genetics

Being dioecious (with separate male and female plants), the P. tectorius mating system is likely to be highly outcrossing, or facultatively apomictic in the absence of male plants (Brink and Jansen, 2003); this results in the high level of morphological variation that is seen in reproductive structures, habit, bole size, branching, prop and aerial roots, leaf size and arrangement, and the extent of spines on different plant parts. Varieties may represent geographical races or provenances, morphologically distinct individuals, vegetatively propagated clones, polyploids or interspecific hybrids. Variation within populations is generated through recombination during sexual reproduction and by the introduction of genetic materials from incoming material that has been dispersed long distances by ocean currents.

Reproductive Biology

P. tectorius plants that have arisen from seed tend to start flowering at about 15 years old, whereas those from branch cuttings start flowering much earlier, certainly by 6 years old, often 3-4 years; flowering after only 2 years has also been recorded (Thomson et al., 2006). It takes one or two years from flowering to the production of mature fruit on female trees. Seasonality varies between locations and varieties, e.g. March-May in Fiji, April-August in northern Australia, and two seasons (December-March and July-September) in Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Kiribati. In Fiji, male trees flower every year whereas female trees flower heavily only every second year. Selected varieties typically produce about 8-12 infructescences per plant every second year, each weighing 7-15 kg and containing 35–80 edible ‘keys’ that each contain edible portions weighing 30-75 g or up to 100 g/key in the best varieties (Thomson et al., 2006).

Physiology and Phenology

The distinctive root system of P. tectorius is made up of spreading prop roots growing down from the lower 1-1.5 m of the trunk, and which penetrate and are concentrated in the soil surface. Occasionally some aerial roots hang down from the branches. Plants regenerate rapidly from the seed in fallen fruit segments in good conditions. Trees exhibit only limited ability to coppice, often dying after storm damage and when the main stem is broken. Growth rates are very slow to moderate, from as low as 2 cm to up to 80 cm per year. For plants from seed, there is a semi-prostrate juvenile phase of 4-9 years, followed by an erect trunk growth phase of 5-12 years, and a sexual/flowering phase of 40 years or more. Trees typically live for 50-80 years, but can live 100-150 years in places. Plants raised from cuttings may only produce fruit for 20-25 years, however, and require more regular propagation.

Environmental Requirements

P. tectorius grows in tropical, humid and subhumid maritime climates, with warm to hot temperatures throughout the year with little seasonal or diurnal variation. The limits to its cold tolerance have not been tested, but it is expected that damage would occur below 10°C (Thomson et al., 2006).

Rainfall varies considerably across its native range, in amount and seasonal distribution, but P. tectorius is common in areas receiving 1500-4000 mm per year, uniformly, bimodally or with a 4-6 month peak usually during the hottest period, and 0-3 month dry seasons normally but occasionally longer in extreme years. It is worth noting regarding possible climate change adaptations that P. tectorius is known to tolerate longer drought periods with continuous but reduced fruiting, and it is considered more drought tolerant than coconut in atoll environments (Stone et al., 2000).

P. tectorius is adapted to an extraordinarily wide range of coastal soils, light to heavy, saline, infertile, acid or alkaline (pH 6-10), sodic, thin, infertile, basaltic, limestone, peaty and swampy sands, loams, clays and all combinations, free, impeded or seasonally waterlogged. P. tectorius will tolerate waterlogging for at least 6 months and perhaps year-round on certain soils such as peat and, being found on the margins of saltwater mangroves, it tolerates periodic saltwater inundation during high tides and storm surges. P. tectorius is very tolerant of strong, salt winds and withstands moderate to severe tropical cyclones over much of its range (Thomson et al., 2006).

P. tectorius prefers full sunlight, and occurs mostly in open, exposed sites, but it will also grow with some (30-50%) shade, although trees tend to stop flowering and fruiting under higher shade levels, and will not tolerate shade above 70%. P. tectorius is moderately fire tolerant and certainly more so than some other coastal trees such as mangroves, with older trees tolerant of low to medium intensity fires, though young plants less than 1 m tall are generally killed (Thomson et al., 2006).

Climate

Top of page
ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Tolerated > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Tolerated < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])

Air Temperature

Top of page
Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) 12
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 24 28
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 28 36
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 17 25

Rainfall

Top of page
ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration06number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall15004000mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Bimodal
Summer
Uniform

Soil Tolerances

Top of page

Soil drainage

  • free
  • impeded
  • seasonally waterlogged

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • alkaline
  • neutral
  • very alkaline

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • infertile
  • saline
  • shallow
  • sodic

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page

P. tectorius generally suffer only minor damage from pests and diseases, with the exception of attack by the Pandanus scale insect in Hawaii since the 1990s, and various mealybugs (Thomson et al., 2006). The scale insect in question, Thysanococcus pandani, was accidentally introduced to Hawaii from its native range in Java and Singapore, being first observed in 1995 in the National Tropical Botanical Garden on Maui and now occurring on P. tectorius throughout virtually the whole island. Because of the importance of P. tectorius as a crop, biological control agents for the scale are being investigated (Gallaher, 2014). The following compilation of other pests and diseases noted to occur on P. tectorius is taken from Thomson et al. (2006). Pests in the Pacific include Aspidiotus destructor (coconut scale), Aspidiotus nerii (oleander scale), Graeffea crouanii (coconut phasmid), Oryctes rhinoceros (coconut rhinoceros beetle), Pinnaspis strachani (hibiscus snow scale), Pseudococcus giffardi [Laminicoccus pandani] and Pseudococcus perforatus (mealybugs), and Jamella australiae (pandanus planthopper) in northern New South Wales. Fungal species recorded include Asteromella sp., Coniothyrium pandanicola, Dothidella pandani, Glomerella sp., Lembosia pandani, Macrophoma pandani [Botryodiplodia pandani], Melanconium pandani, Melanconium sp., Meliola juttingii, Microcyclus pandani, Oxydothis pandani, Phomatospora cylindrotheca, Phomatospora pandani and Volutellaria fuliginea. Also recorded are the nematode Helicotylenchus dihystera and the bacterial disease Erwinia carotovora [Pectobacterium carotovorum]. The leaf midribs of P. tectorius are generally thought to be the only food source of the peppermint stick insect, Megacrania batesii, which is classed as vulnerable by the IUCN due to its restricted range covering Queensland and some Pacific islands (Cermak and Hasenpusch, 2000).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

Top of page

Natural Dispersal

Pandanus species are adapted to dispersal by water, via floating seeds, keys or fruits, and also via broken plant parts, aided by agamospermy, anemophily and multi-seeded propagules (Gallaher et al., 2015).

Intentional Introduction

Clones from individuals and varieties have been intentionally introduced throughout history, and many aboriginal introductions are assumed, especially throughout its native Pacific range. Similar introductions for other Pandanus species are also considered to have occurred, which, along with hybridization, have further complicated the species’ taxonomy. Further introductions may be considered as likely.

Pathway Vectors

Top of page
VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Floating vegetation and debris Yes Yes
Water Yes Yes

Impact Summary

Top of page
CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive
Economic/livelihood Positive
Environment (generally) Positive
Human health Positive

Impact: Economic

Top of page

Due to the enormous number of uses to which P. tectorius is put, it has huge and positive economic impacts throughout its range. For local people it has value as a source of many domestic products, including food, fibre and building materials (see Uses section). Traditional handicrafts made from pandanus leaves, such as hats and mats, are income generators on some islands. It is considered one of the most important trees in the Pacific region.

Impact: Environmental

Top of page

No negative impacts have been reported besides occasional mentions of its ability to rapidly colonize disturbed areas. Even in such case, the importance of establishing and maintaining vegetation on exposed coastal areas at risk from storms, storm surges and rising sea levels should be seen as desirable. P. tectorius leaves are an important and possibly only food source for the stick insect Megacrania batesii in Queensland (Cermak and Hasenpusch, 2000).

Impact: Social

Top of page

Through its many traditional uses, including in folk remedies, handicrafts and for folklore purposes, P. tectorius is also a tree of significant social and cultural value, especially for island communities. It features prominently in Micronesian and Polynesian creation mythology, songs and sayings. Its fruits are a staple food in parts of Micronesia.

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Long lived
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Reproduces asexually
  • Has high genetic variability
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Monoculture formation
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately

Uses

Top of page

P. tectorius trees have numerous uses, including for food, fibre, compost, building materials, medicines, shade, shelter, as an ornamental, and for almost every possible use a tree could provide, including a wide range of environmental services, such as coastal erosion control, windbreaks and boundary markers. Different plant parts are used to provide a very wide range of products throughout the Pacific, but especially on atolls. The trees’ striking appearance makes them popular and characteristic ornamental and urban trees in the Pacific, being tolerant of salt, wind and drought, and requiring little care (Thomson et al., 2006). For a detailed description of the full range of uses, from folkloric and traditional to modern, see Thomson et al. (2006). The following provides only a summary.

The trunk and large branches are used for building materials in house construction and for firewood. Aerial roots are used in making house walls, as supports and for various tools. Fibres from leaves of selected varieties are used to make mats, baskets and a variety of other products, with whole leaves used for roofing, mulch and compost. There are many traditional named and cultivated varieties selected for their fruit, which is very rich in valuable nutrients and minerals, and is eaten fresh or made into various preserved foods. Other uses include perfumes, garlands, paints, fuel, compost, and fishing baits and floats. In parts of the Pacific, Pandanus fruit can constitute up to 50% of a person’s energy intake, and individuals may consume up to 1 kg per day (Miller et al., 1956; Englberger et al., 2003). However, consumption has declined in recent times along with that of many other traditional foods (Englberger, 2003), though promoting consumption has considerable potential for alleviating vitamin A deficiency in the region (Englberger et al., 2003). All plant parts have various medicinal uses (Thomson et al., 2006).

Uses List

Top of page

Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Fodder/animal feed
  • Forage

Environmental

  • Agroforestry
  • Amenity
  • Boundary, barrier or support
  • Erosion control or dune stabilization
  • Land reclamation
  • Landscape improvement
  • Revegetation
  • Shade and shelter
  • Soil conservation
  • Soil improvement
  • Wildlife habitat
  • Windbreak

Fuels

  • Fuelwood

General

  • Ritual uses
  • Sociocultural value

Human food and beverage

  • Beverage base
  • Food additive
  • Fruits

Materials

  • Bark products
  • Baskets
  • Cosmetics
  • Dyestuffs
  • Fertilizer
  • Fibre
  • Green manure
  • Miscellaneous materials
  • Tanstuffs
  • Wood/timber

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page

P. tectorius has many morphological variants that are variously described as different species (Thomson et al., 2006), and very many synonyms are known (The Plant List, 2013). Differences between P. tectorius and three morphologically similar Pandanus species are described by Thomson et al. (2006). P. odoratissimus is native to South and South-East Asia and the western Pacific, and is also highly variable, with the main morphological difference being the larger and paler leaf spines in P. odoratissimus compared with the smaller greenish spines in P. tectorius. P. dubius is native to South-East Asia and the western Pacific, but can be distinguished from P. tectorius by its much longer peduncles, 60-80 cm in length, its large, round, white, edible and tasty seeds (to 1.5 cm in diameter), much wider leaves and a trunk covered with sharp prickles. P. whitmeeanus is easily distinguished from P. tectorius by the position of its stigma, oblique to vertical on the distal outer face of the phalange apex, compared to being apical on the carpel summit in P. tectorius.

Prevention and Control

Top of page

Although no reports are available, it is expected that manual and mechanical control would be effective.

The only record of chemical control is from Hawaii, where fenoprop was reported to give good control of Pandanus, as well as lantana (Lantana camara) and guava (Psidium guajava) (Motooka et al., 1967).

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

Top of page

Further taxonomical work is clearly required, especially the use of molecular techniques to support a full revision of the genus and to discern genetic relationships between species and varieties.

References

Top of page

Ash J, 1987. Demography, dispersal and production of Pandanus tectorius (Pandanaceae) in Fiji. Australian Journal of Botany, 35(3):313-330.

Brink M; Jansen PCM, 2003. Pandanus Parkinson. In: Plant resources of South­East Asia 17. Fibre plants [ed. by Brink, M. \Escobin, R. P.]. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers, 197-205.

Cermak M; Hasenpusch JW, 2000. Distribution, biology and conservation status of the peppermint stick insect, Megacrania batesii (Kirby) (Phasmatodea: Phasmatidae), in Queensland. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, 46(1):101-106.

Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2014. Australia's virtual herbarium, Australia. http://avh.ala.org.au

Englberger L, 2003. Are Pacific islanders still enjoying the taste of pandanus? Pacific Islands Nutrition, 58:10-11.

Englberger L; Fitzgerald MH; Marks GC, 2003. Pacific pandanus fruit: an ethnographic approach to understanding an overlooked source of provitamin A carotenoids. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 12(1):38-44.

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014. Flora of China. St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria. http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2

Gallaher T, 2014. The past and future of hala (Pandanus tectorius) in Hawai'i. In: 'Ike ulana lau hala [ed. by Keawe, L. O. \MacDowell, M. \Dewhurst, C. K.]. Honolulu, HI, USA: University of Hawaii Press, 94-112.

Gallaher T; Callmander MW; Buerki S; Keeley SC, 2015. A long distance dispersal hypothesis for the Pandanaceae and the origins of the Pandanus tectorius complex. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 83:20-32. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1055790314003868

Kairo M; Ali B; Cheesman O; Haysom K; Murphy S, 2003. Invasive species threats in the Caribbean region. Report to the Nature Conservancy. Curepe, Trinidad and Tobago: CAB International, 132 pp. http://www.issg.org/database/species/reference_files/Kairo%20et%20al,%202003.pdf

Little EL Jr; Skolmen RG, 1989. Common forest trees of Hawaii (native and introduced). Agriculture Handbook Washington, 679. Washington, DC, USA: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.

Miller CD; Murai M; Pen F, 1956. The use of Pandanus fruit as a food in Micronesia. Pacific Science, 10(1):3-16.

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2014. Tropicos database. St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden. http://www.tropicos.org/

Motooka PS; Plucknett DL; Saiki DF; Younge OR, 1967. Pasture establishments in tropical brushlands by aerial herbicide and seeding treatments on Kauai. Technical Progress Report. Hawaii Agricultural Experiment Station, 165:18 pp.

Ng LY; Yap SF, 2003. Pandanus Parkinson. In: Plant resources of South­East Asia 12(3). Medicinal and poisonous plants 3 [ed. by Lemmens, R. H. M. J. \Bunyapraphatsara, N.]. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher, 321-323.

Rajesh Kumar; Bharati KA, 2013. New claims in folk veterinary medicines from Uttar Pradesh, India. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 146(2):581-593. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874113000597

Sheltami RM; Ibrahim Abdullah; Ishak Ahmad; Alain Dufresne; Hanieh Kargarzadeh, 2012. Extraction of cellulose nanocrystals from mengkuang leaves (Pandanus tectorius). Carbohydrate Polymers, 88(2):772-779. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0144861712000823

Stone EL; Migvar L; Robison WL, 2000. Growing plants on atoll soils. Livermore, California, USA: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 25 pp.

The Plant List, 2013. The Plant List: a working list of all plant species. Version 1.1. London, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. http://www.theplantlist.org

Thomson LAJ; Englberger L; Guarino L; Thaman RR; Elevitch C, 2006. Pandanus tectorius (screw pine). Species profiles for Pacific island agroforestry. Holualoa, Hawaii, USA: Permanent Agriculture Resources (PAR), 29 pp. www.traditionaltree.org

USDA-ARS, 2015. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysearch.aspx

USDA-NRCS, 2015. The PLANTS Database. Baton Rouge, USA: National Plant Data Center. http://plants.usda.gov/

Walter A; Sam C, 2002. Fruits of Oceania. ACIAR Monograph No. 85. Canberra, Australia: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, 329 pp.

Zhu MQ; Ye GF; You SS; Chen ZH; Bai YH; You LH; Gao W, 2012. Caloric values of the dominant species from different layers of monsoon evergreen broad-leaved forest at Dongshan Island. Journal of Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, 41(3):248-252.

Links to Websites

Top of page
WebsiteURLComment
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.

Contributors

Top of page

20/04/2015 Original text by:

Nick Pasiecznik, Consultant, France

Distribution Maps

Top of page
You can pan and zoom the map
Save map