Plant growing on a coastal cliff. Darwin, Northern Territory. Note the prop roots
Photograph by: Bidgee
Pandanus spiralis is an evergreen tree growing up to 10 metres tall.
The edible fruits, seeds and leaves are gathered from the wild and used locally. The leaves are also used locally for making mats, bags, cloaks etc.
Australia - Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland.
Creeks, rivers, valleys, beaches and coastal dunes, on sandy, loamy, clay, alluvium and sandstone soils[
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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.
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 has a strong, sweet flavour of custard apple[
]. 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 tough, fibrous leaves are used for weaving bags, cloaks etc[
]. The leaves, which are usually tough and fibrous, are long, narrow and sword-shaped and can easily be split into strips for weaving[
The soft trunks have been lashed together to make rafts[
Seed - best pre-soaked for 24 hours prior to sowing[
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