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(Screw-Pine family)


This is a family of trees, shrubs and lianes in 3 genera found in the Old World tropics. The genus Pandanus Parkinson accounts for about 600 species; Freycinetia Gaudich. accounts for about 75 species; and Sararanga Hemsley accounts for 2 species (Mabberley 1987). The Veitch screw-pine (Pandanus veitchii) and some other species may occasionally be found in cultivation as house- or greenhouse plants.

Aplin (1981) noted that calcium oxalate needle crystals (raphides) are found in certain members of this family and that this represents a dermatological hazard.

[Summary yet to be added]

Freycinetia arborea Gaudich.
Screw Pine, Leie

This species is found throughout the Hawaiian Islands in the forest. The shiny green leaves are pointed at their ends and spiny along their edges and on the lower side of the midrib. The plants may be found trailing on the ground in great masses forming impenetrable jungles (Menninger 1967).

Pandanus Parkinson
Screw Pine

Eating the fruits caused sore lips and blistered tongue; boiled fruits were innocuous (Cleland 1925).

Pandanus tectorius Parkinson ex Duroi
(syn. Pandanus odoratissimus)

The sharp serrated leaves of the plant can cause mechanical injury. Indian women habitually use the male inflorescence, which is a long spike of strongly scented flowers without petals or sepals, to adorn the hair. The outer part of the flower and the blossoms yield an essential oil. The flowers and leaves can cause dermatitis in housewives and florists (Behl et al. 1966).


  • Aplin TEH (1981) Plants that cause dermatitis. Australian Journal of Dermatology 22: 33-35
  • Behl PN, Captain RM, Bedi BMS and Gupta S (1966) Skin-Irritant and Sensitizing Plants Found in India. New Delhi: PN Behl
  • Cleland JB (1925) Plants, including fungi, poisonous or otherwise injurious to man in Australia. (Series II). Medical Journal of Australia ii: 443
  • Mabberley DJ (1987) The Plant-Book. A portable dictionary of the higher plants. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Menninger EA (1967) Fantastic Trees. New York: Viking Press

Richard J. Schmidt [Valid HTML 4.01!]

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