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Screw Pine

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Screw Pine

Pandanus utilis

  • ​Common Name: Screw Pine
  • Scientific Name: Pandanus utilis
  • Family Name: Pandanaceae
  • Origin: Madagascar but more recently it has been suggested that it may have originated in the Mascarene Islands.
  • Height: 20’ – 30’
  • Width: 12’ – 20’ (needs space as it ages)
  • Growth: Slow – moderate.
  • Zone: 10B – 11
  • Light Needs: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Salt Tolerance: High, including aerosol salt.
  • Soil/PH/Texture: Prefers soils that are clay, sand, or loam, alkaline - acidic (6.6 – 7.3).
  • Soil Moisture: Wet to well-drained, likes to have moist soil, do not let dry out between watering.
  • Drought Tolerance: Moderate
  • Pests/Diseases: Free of serious pests or diseases (occasionally scales).
  • Growing Conditions: Leaves are a constant clean up issue, otherwise it is pretty low maintenance and easy to care for. No soil amendments are necessary though when you first plant you could add composted cow manure to the hole.  It is recommended to fertilize 3 times a year with a good granular fertilizer.
  • Characteristics: This beautiful unique evergreen tree has leaves that are blue-green, with whorled arrangement, 1 ½’ -3’ in length, simple, spiny and pectinate leaf margins that are linear shaped. It’s display of prop roots are quite captivating and protect it from strong storm winds and tropical rains. The clusters of flowers appear on long spikes and are not showy. They only occur on the male specimens during the winter. The fruit/drupes are 8 “– 9” around, 100 -200 compressed together, orange – yellow when ripe, and attracts squirrels and other mammals.
  • Propagation: By seed (soaked 24-hours before planting), basal sucker division, or large cuttings.
  • Wildlife: Fruit attracts squirrels and other small mammals.
  • Facts: Although the male plants possess conspicuous, fragrant flowers, it is the female plant which is preferred for landscape use because of the large, eight to nine-inch, globular fruits which hang from "cords". The fruits are made up of 100 to 200 tightly compressed drupes, like those of a pineapple, and they change from green to yellow when ripe. There is only a small amount of edible pulp, but the fruits are quite showy. Handling plant may cause some skin irritation or an allergic reaction, and its leaves have spines and sharp edges, so use caution when handling. It is not a not a pine or a palm but has the appearance of a palm.
  • Designer Considerations: Can be used in reclamation, on a deck or patio, as a specimen, container or planter, on the street without sidewalk, highway median and would be great in the center of a circular driveway. It is salt and drought tolerant making it great for a coastal property, as long as you have ample space.​
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