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Pandanaceae, Pandanus fascicularis – Panama

March 2, 2008

It’s hard to positively ID Pandanus as there are many species. I’ll hazard a guess that it could be Pandanus fascicularis, formerly P. odoratissimus, native to S. Asia (please correct me if I’m wrong). The leaves are used to extract perfume and aromatic oils. I’m not sure if the fruit or nut is edible, although I believe another synonym for this species is P. tectorius, which is known to be edible, along with P. julianettii and P. leram.

Pandanus amaryllifolius is another species, also known as fragrant pandan which, as the name suggests is the only recorded species with fragrant leaves, an ancient cultigen mainly grown in Southeast Asia (from S. India to New Guinea). Wilted leaves of P. amaryllifolius have a nutty aroma, similar to that of Thia jasmine rice. In Thai, Malay, and Indonesian cooking, pandan is used to enhance the flavor of rice dishes, often combined with coconut milk.

Here’s a very informative PDF article on:  The Use of Pandanus Fruit in Micronesia, by CAREY D. MILLER, MARY MURAl, and FLORENCE PEN.

Pandanus

Pandanus spp., close

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 20, 2013 10:08:44 pm

    Much like a bunya fruit, you wouldn’t want that falling on your head! A bunya fruit actually killed someone in Perth Western Australia Supreme court gardens a little while ago so they have to fence the tree off every year now when it is fruiting

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