Hasskarlia globosa (Hassk.) Walp.
Marquartia globosa Hassk.
Pandanus flabelliformis Carrière
Pandanus maritimus Thouars
Pandanus nudus Thouars
Pandanus odoratissimus Jacq.
Pandanus sativus Thouars
Pandanus spurius Miq.
Pandanus vacqua Carmich. ex Balf.f.
Vinsonia consanguinea Gaudich. ex Balf.f.
Vinsonia macrostigma Gaudich. ex Balf.f.
Vinsonia media Gaudich. ex Balf.f.
Vinsonia propinqua Gaudich. ex Balf.f.
Vinsonia stephanocarpa Gaudich.
Vinsonia striata Gaudich. ex Balf.f.
Vinsonia thouarsii Gaudich. ex Balf.f.
Vinsonia utilis Gaudich.
Common Name: Bacona
Large fruiting plant at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Miami, Florida, USA.
Photograph by: scott.zona
Pandanus utilis is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing up to 6 metres tall with a thick, densely spiralling crown and stilt roots.
The plant is valued mainly for its leaves, which are used for thatch, woven into baskets, mats, bags, sacks etc. It also supplies a useful fibre plus an edible fruit and inflorescence. Often harvested from the wild, the plant is also often cultivated for its leaves, both within its native range and also in the Americas[
]. The plant is also cultivated as ornamental in gardens, where it is valued especially for its fragrant flowers[
Indian Ocean - Mascarenes.
Found near the coast[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Plants succeed in the tropics and warm subtropics.
Prefers a position in full sun, tolerating a range of soils[
]. Tolerant of salty soils[
The first harvest of leaves is not taken until the plant is three years old[
]. Plants are then regularly cropped every second year afterwards. One plant will yield leaves enough for two large bags[
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.
Male inflorescences - cooked[
Fruits - cooked[
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[
Although no specific records have yet been seen for this species, most members of this genus also have more or less edible seeds and inner leaf bases[
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[
Root decoctions are used as a remedy against venereal diseases[
The cooked male inflorescences are considered to have aphrodisiac properties[
Grown to provide support for Vanilla plants in various tropical areas[
The trees serve as windbreaks, mainly along the shore[
The leaves are made into sacks for coffee, sugar, and grain[
]. The leaves are also made into matting, baskets, hats, and thatch, and are used for cordage and other purposes[
The leaves from young, unbranched trees are more suitable for weaving because they are longer and more supple than the leaves obtained from older, branched trees[
]. They are prepared as soon as they are taken from the tree - the operation consisting merely in splitting the leaves into fillets, which are 18 - 25mm broad at the base, but taper to a point. They are 90 - 120cm long[
]. One of these fillets can support the weight of a bag of sugar, about 63 kilos, without breaking.
The root fibres are much stronger than those from the leaves, and are occasionally used for making cordage, and for admixture with jute in gunny bags[
The aerial roots have been used for tying and in the production of baskets, mats and hats, and their ends to make coarse brushes for whitewashing[
Seed - best pre-soaked for 24 hours prior to sowing[
]. The seed should not be covered, but should be placed face up in the growing medium at a temperature of at least 27°c[
]. They germinate in 2 - 3 months[
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