Pandanus tectorius is a small tree that grows upright to reach 4–14 m (13–46 ft) in height. The single trunk is slender with brown ringed bark. It is spiny, grows to 4.5–11 m (15–35 ft) in width, and forks at a height of 4–8 metres (13–26 ft). It is supported by prop roots that firmly anchors the tree to the ground. Roots sometimes grow along the branch, and they grow a wide angles in proportion to the trunk.
Pandanus tectorius's facts
Pandanus, (genus Pandanus), also called screw pine, any of some 600 tropical species of Old World trees and shrubs of the screw pine family (Pandanaceae).
The male flowers are sweetly fragrant.
Pandanus tectorius's Behavior & Ecology
Grow on a wide variety of coastal soils, including sandy and rocky beaches, raised coralline terraces and recent basalt (lava flows). They are adapted to shallow, saline, sodic, alkaline, and thin and nutrient poor soils over limestone and peaty swamps. They also grow well in soils with free or impeded drainage, including seasonally waterlogged soils. They are very tolerant of salt laden winds and salt spray and also of strong and steady winds. This tree have a capacity to regenerate rapidly from seed in fallen fruit segment. It is not normally cultivated in the Maldives. However, it can be propagated by seed and branch cuttings. Seed can be collected from intact phalanges (keys) by keeping them in cool tap water for about five days, changing the water daily. Viable phalanges will float. They can be sown directly or propagated in a nursery. Seedlings 4 to 12 months old can be used for outplanting. Branch cuttings are made form shorter laterals including one or more aerial or prop roots and the length of the cuttings normally ranges from 20 to 40 cm. Leaf area of the branch cuttings is reduced by about 70% by cutting or trimming the leaves. Cuttings should be planted immediately after collection for high rate of establishment and growth.
Pandanus tectorius's Relationship with Humans
Fruits of Pandanus tectorius is normally not consumed in the Maldives because it causes an itching sensation on the tongue. Unlike Pandanus odoratissimus, stems of Pandanus tectorius are not widely used. Both the Pandanus species help to bind sand and prevent wind erosion, when they are grown on the seaward slopes and crests of frontal sand dunes. They also function as wind break. Since both the species are tolerant to salt spray, sand blasting, exposure to strong winds and high levels of solar radiation they can be part of multispecies bioshield for coastal area protection.