Pandanus utilissimus Elmer
Common Name: Calaquimay.
Plants growing in native habitat
Photograph by: Alma Gamil
Pandanus simplex is an erect, unbranched evergreen tree growing around 6 metres tall. The sword-shaped leaves are around 300cm long, arranged in a cluster at the top of the stem[
The leaves are commonly collected from the wild and used in making mats, baskets etc[
]. The plant is also cultivated as a source of fibre in some parts of the Philippines[
Southeast Asia - Philippines (Luzon).
Forests at low and medium elevations[
]. Hilltops; at an elevation around 150 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Species in this genus generally grow well in most moist, well-dained soils and a sunny position[
Branches do not have dormant buds and so will not resprout if cut back into the old wood[
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruits and seed are required.
Although no specific records have yet been seen for this species, most members of this genus have more or less edible fruits, seeds and inner leaf bases[
]. This species is exceptional in the size of its enormous syncarps[
The cylindrical fruit is a syncarp made up of a number of individual drupes[
]. Individual drupes are hard, woody wedges - each containing a few, slender seeds[
]. Each wedge has a fleshy base imbued with a sweet-smelling, orange pulp that in many species has a delicious flavour[
]. This pulp needs to be cooked in order to destroy a deleterious substance[
The seed often has a delicious nutty flavour when eaten raw or cooked, though it is fiddly to extract[
]. Seeds contain 44 - 50% fat and 20 - 34% protein[
Inner base of young leaves - raw[
The leaves are cut into strips and used for making coarse and fine mats, bags, hats, baskets, picture frames, handbags, wall pockets, fancy slippers etc[
The prepared strips of the leaves are very extensively used for making coarse and fine mats, hats, bags, and telescope baskets[
]. They are also used extensively for making fancy articles such as picture frames, wall pockets, hand bags, and fancy slippers[
In preparing the fibre, the spiny margins and the midribs of the leaves are removed and the leaves cut into strips of the
desired width. The strips are then dried in the sun and allowed to wilt. To make them pliable they are rolled under one end of a heavy log. They are further dried in the sun and are then ready for use[
The karagomoi variety of the plant has leaves up to 3.5 metres long and 6 - 10cm wide, whilst the variety cultivated
in the Banahao region, the 'Majayjay pandan' ,has leaves that can be 5 metres long and up to 20cm wide[
Seed - best pre-soaked for 24 hours prior to sowing[
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