|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Pandanus (Latinized form of a Malayan name). Pandanaceae. Screw-pine. Tropical plants often attaining the size of trees, and remarkaple for their stilt-like aerial roots, and the perfect spiral arrangement of their long sword-shaped leaves. They are planted in tropical and subtropical regions, and are also grown as pot and tub specimens for greenhouse, residence, veranda and lawn decoration, where their stiff clustered foliage gives them a formal decorative character.
The family Pandanaceae comprises 3 genera (Warburg, in Engler's Das Pflanzenreich, IV: 9 [hft.3] 1900): Sararanga, with 2 species, in the S. Sea Isls. and Philippines; Freycinetia, more than 100 species, from Ceylon to Philippines, Austral., New Zeal., and Hawaii; Pandanus, with probably 250 species now described, in Trop. Afr., India, Austral., islands of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. Pandanus comprises small trees or shrubs, erect or rarely prostrate, usually forked, the trunk annular, often producing aerial roots: lvs. linear and acute, commonly sharp-dentate or prickly on margin and midrib, the base usually vaginate but not petioled: fls. dioecious, in axillary or terminal spadices, the male spadices branched, the female always terminal and racemose or solitary, the leafy spadix-bracts usually colored; perianth none; stamens many in male fls., the filaments free or connate; staminodes in female fls. small or none, the ovary free or joined to those of adjacent fls.; ovule solitary and erect: fr. a syncarpium of free or connate angular woody or fleshy drupes, sometimes large (1 ft. long) and cone-like.—The screw- piaes are characteristic plants in many tropical regions, with long ringed trunks, bracing roots, and crowns of dracena-like foliage. The lvs. of some species are used in manufacture of bagging and in other ways, and of some kinds the frs. are eaten. Some of them have very fragrant fls., and of others the frs. or other parts are fetid. Two species are important in cult., P. Veitchii and P. utilis, the former variegated, the latter not. Young plants of these are amongst the most popular foliage plants for home decoration. They are especially suited for fern-pans and table-decoration. They are grown to a very large extent by wholesale florists and palm specialists.
Every conservatory has them, and occasionally P. utilis is grown to a considerable age and height for the sake of a perfect specimen of the spiral habit of growth on a large scale. (See Fig. 2743.) Some of the species have red- or purple-tinted lvs., but these appear not to have become popular. In the tropics, P. utilis is as valuable to the natives as many palms. The frs. are edible, and the roots furnish fiber for ropes, baskets, mats and hats, as do also the lvs. which are used in making paper and nets. The numbers of species in commercial cult, are very few, although many names occur in horticultural literature. Without fls. and frs., it is difficult to know what species are actually in cult., or how accurate may be the popular descriptions and illustrations. For the same reason it is impossible to construct an accurate botanical key that will be of practical use to the gardener. Some of the good garden kinds are unplaced botanically, particularly the variegated or stnped-lvd. kinds, which are sterile or the fructification insufficiently studied.
Pandanuses are among the best decorative plants and they are not difficult to manage when grown under favorable conditions. They are usually at home in palm-houses, and some of the species may be treated as semi-aquatics in victoria tanks. As a rule, they thrive in much heat and with plenty of water. From the latter part of January on; these plants become active in growth. It is at this time that one must make the atmosphere of the house more congenial in the way of supplying abundance of atmospheric moisture. To supply this condition, damp down the benches, paths and under the benches two or three times a day in bright weather. Before they have made too much headway any necessary repotting should be done, such as renewing with new compost or shifting into larger pots. A good compost to use is fibrous loam four parts, well-decayed manure and leaf-mold one part each, with enough sand added to give it a porous texture. See that the pots have plenty of drainage and pot firm enough to get the new compost well around the roots.
In February and on, as the days become longer and the sun more powerful, they will require more water at the roots, with frequent syringings. The temperature may be increased from 60 to 65° at night, and in late spring and summer they will need a night temperature of 70° with a rise of 10° to 15° in bright weather. During summer when the sun is powerful, they will need a little shade, but only enough to hold them in good color as they like plenty of diffused sunlight at this period. In autumn, winter and spring, they like plenty of sunshine. When autumn comes, do less watering and syringing, as root-action is becoming less active. To keep them in good health, it is very important to use great care in watering them in the winter months, as any unskilful or careless watering will surely cause ruin. Also give ventilation strict attention at all times.
—Most of the species of pandanus can be increased from suckers, that are more or less produced from the main stem. These may be taken off and a few of the bottom leaves removed, and placed singly in small pots, using a mixture of loam, peat; and sand in equal parts. Plunge in a warm propagating-bed where they may have a brisk bottom heat. The best time to increase this stock is after January. Some species are grown from seed. Seeds may be sown whenever they can be secured fresh, which is usually in the spring. Sow the seed in pans in a mixture of loam, peat, and sand in equal parts. Cover and press firmly. Keep moist, but not in a soaked condition. It will aid the germination to soak the seed twenty-four hours in tepid water. Give plenty of heat and keep shaded and they will germinate without much trouble. When large enough, pot off and keep on shifting and grow under the above cultural directions and they will form good stocky plants.
Baptistii, 3. Blancoi, 6. Boryi, 6. Candelabrum, 2, and suppl. list, caricosus, 13. Chamissonis, 6. distichus, 8. Douglasii, 6. elegantissimus, 8. flabelliformis, 8. Forsteri, 7. Fosterianus, 7. furcatus, 12. graminifolius, 10, 11. heterocarpus, 9.horridus, 12. javanicus, 2, 6. Isevis, 6. leucacanthus, 6. Linnaei, 6. Loureiri, 6. mauritianus, 8. Menziesii, 6. Moorei, 7. moschatus, 6. odoratissimus, 6. odoratus, 6. odorifer, 6. ornatus, 9. pacificus, 5. pygmaeus, 10. reflexus, 14. Rheedii, 6. Rumphii, 6. Samak, 6. Sanderi, 4. sativus, 8. spinifructus, 12. spiralis, 6. tectorius, 6. urophyllus, 12. utilis, 8. Vandermeeschii.l5. variegatus, 2. Veitchii, 1.
P. amaryllifolius, Roxbg. Plant small and diffuse, supported by aerial roots: lvs. linear, somewhat 3-nerved, the apex somewhat dilated, little spinose-serrate. Probably Malayan. C.L.A. 19:131. G.W. 11. p. 243.—P. Butayei, Wildem. Lvs. rather broad, robust, with sharp claw-like prickles on margins and keel, said to be a beautiful decorative plant. Congo.—P. Candelabrum, Beauv. Candelabrum Tree. Chandelier Tree. Tree, attaining 30 ft., the lower branches horizontal and upper erect: lvs. 3 ft. by 2 in., dark green and glaucous, strongly toothed; spines brown.
Trop. Air. B.M. 5014, under this name is P. utilis.—Not advertised in Amer., but for the popular variegated form, see No. 2.—P. Houlletii, Carr. Height 7-8 ft. in the wild, simple, with aerial roots: lvs. many, the blades linear and gradually acuminate-pointed, sometimes 8 ft. long and 4 in. broad, with small curved brown or purplish spines, surface dark green, tinged copper-red, or young ones purple. Singapore. B.M. 8197. R.H. 1868, p. 210.—P. luzonensis, Merrill. Probably the species reported in S. Fla. as P. luxonicus: tree, 25 ft., with erect trunk much branched above: lvs. to 6 ft. long and about 1 in. wide, long- and narrow-acuminate, the margins strongly antrorsely toothed, and with stout curved spines. Philippines.—-P. nitidus, Kurz-P. stenophyllus.—P. stenophyllus, Kurz. Shrub, 6-8 ft., with many prop-roots: lvs. 2-3 ft. or more long, 1 in. wide, shining, the margin and keel remotely pale, spinulose-serrate. Java. G.W. 11, p. 242.—P. Wavrinianus, Hort. Lvs. narrow, strap-shaped, recurved, dark olive-green, with irregular awl-shaped teeth. Habitat unrecorded. CH
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- Selected specieswp
P. odoratissimus is used for P. fascicularis or P. tectorius.
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963