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Tree description: Shrub (1 - 1.6 m tall) or small tree (2 - 4.5 m tall) depending on culture. Continual harvesting of the leaves from the shrub form will prevent it from developing into the tree form. The tree form of this species has an erect trunk with little to no branching (15 cm wide). The trunk produces thick aerial roots. Shrub leaves are linear with an entire leaf margin and acute apex (2 - 5 cm wide, 25 - 75 cm long). Leaves of the tree form are the same shape, but about twice the size (7 - 9 cm wide, 150 - 220 cm long). Leaves have a slightly pleated surface; a cross-section of the leaf is shaped like the letter "W" turned upside down. Leaves are spirally arranged.
Scientific Names: Pandanus amaryllifolius
Common Names: Pandan, Fragrant Pandan, Scented Pandan, Screwpine, Fragrant Screwpine, Indonesian Screwpine, Pandan Rampeh, Pandan Wangi, Daun Pandan
Origin: South East Asia
Distribution: While pandanus are distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical islands and coastlines of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, they are most numerous on the low islands and barren atolls of Polynesia and Micronesia. Other species are adapted to mountain habitats and riverine forests.
Importance: The leaves are not consumed, but are removed from the dish before serving. The chlorophyll pigments in the leaves will colour foods green. In Indonesia, rice is sometimes steamed in baskets made of the leaves. Thai people wrap the leaves around pieces of seasoned chicken and then fry them. In Southeast Asia, the leaves are often used to make small boxes or containers that can hold pudding or jellies. Leaf infusions prepared in coconut oil is rubbed on the body to treat rheumatism. Other type of leaf infusions are thought to have a calming effect on restless individuals. The roots have a compound called 4-hydroxybenzoic acid which has potential as a treatment for diabetes. The leaves are sometimes weaved together to make baskets or used in potpourri.