Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Madagascar Screwpine, Pandanus
Pandanus utilis

Family: Pandanaceae
Genus: Pandanus (PAN-dan-us) (Info)
Species: utilis (YOO-tih-liss) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

8 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction
Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Blooms all year

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From woody stem cuttings
By stooling or mound layering

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 33 photos.
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6 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Pandanus_Man On Jul 29, 2012, Pandanus_Man from Escondido, CA wrote:

A great plant for the tropical and subtropical garden. This plant is not too fussy; except that it doesn't like full sun where temps rise above 95 with low humidity. Temps below 28f will cause some damage as well.

Positive vnickdd On Jan 27, 2010, vnickdd from Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Bought a home in downtown orlando with a plant about 15' tall, but a single stock. It had never been trimmed, so I went to battle with the dead leaves underneath. Ouch.

This year was a really long and nasty freeze. I lost some plumeria shoots and my screw palm doesn't look very happy either. I think it will survive. Anyone have any tips on trimming these way down and letting them grow new healthy leaves? Also, anyone ever seen the leaves emerge folded 1/2 way down the length? Looks like waves in the leaf. Wondering if it is getting under fertilized or what.

Positive Ginger_Lily_75 On May 14, 2009, Ginger_Lily_75 from Indialantic, FL wrote:

Just planted a baby! I have begun trying to sprout the 'seeds' collected from a tree down the street.

Neutral ninaj99 On Mar 13, 2007, ninaj99 from krabi
Thailand wrote:

Found on the bank of the mangrove in krabi thailand. Only some very old "branches" no sign of tree or leaves. A real survivor.

Neutral chanticleer On Apr 1, 2006, chanticleer from Toronto, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

It should be noted that in 2004, this species was found to host lethal yellowing disease, a contagious ailment previously thought only to affect palms. For this reason, screw pines (especially those recently purchased) should be monitored closely and destroyed if necessary.

Positive jungleboy_fl On Oct 25, 2004, jungleboy_fl from Naples, FL wrote:

Pandanus utilis is very striking and a nice focal point in the landscape. This plant is native to the south pacific, and is frequently found growing along the shores of most islands in that region. In Hawaii, it is known as, "Lauhala", and the leaves of which are stripped of their thorny margins, rolled, and dried. Afterward, native artisans weave these leaves into many useful items. Supposedly, the fruits of the pandanus are edible, although they must be cooked. I certainly don't recommend it.
I've been nurturing a huge specimen- 22' x 26' for several years now at my landscape here in Naples, FL. It is approx. 20 years old. Although I inherited this plant, I definitely would have planted one, were it not already here. There are a few things the homeowner or landscaper should know about pandanus, especially larger specimens. The "Screw Pine" drops leaves continually. A larger specimen will drop anywhere from 15 - 30 leaves a day. These leaves have a spiny margin and midrib, which can inflict some painful scratches. They are tough, and somewhat bulky when in masse, so disposing of them becomes a chore, to say the least. Also, a healthy older plant will have numberous fruit clusters by summer's end. While extremely attractive, these ball-shaped, fruiting clusters begin to fall apart in a spiral pattern, littering the ground with hundreds of hard, yellow-green fruits which attract fruit flies by the thousands. One option, is to remove them prior to maturity. A large tree can easily produce enough clusters of fruit to fill several trash cans full- each cluster of fruit weighing in at 8lbs. Interestingly, the seeds of which germinate easily. I have many small pandanus sprouting everywhere under the mother plant, even germinating in the grass- surviving an entire summer of mowing! Talk about tough...

Positive amorning1 On Sep 23, 2003, amorning1 from Islamorada, FL wrote:

Vareigated version is awesome

Positive IslandJim On Sep 22, 2003, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

For those who can afford it, this is one of the premium specimen trees for landscaping in southwest Florida. A good-sized tree, which can run between $5,000-$10,000 (U.S.) will literally stop traffic. There are few other specimen trees - Bismarckia Palm, Madagascar Palm, and Poinciana among them - that will have that effect. Absolutely stunning.

Neutral BotanyBob On Jun 1, 2001, BotanyBob from Thousand Oaks, CA wrote:

This tropical shrub/tree looks a lot like a palm at first, but is actually related to conifers (coning plants). In its native tropical climates this is a fast growing, rapidly spreading tree with large stilt roots. Here in the coastal US it is a slower tree with a finely ringed trunk, short stilt roots, and grows in a spiral manner (hence the name screw pine). As a seedling it is highly ornamental with a spiral of yellow-green leaves, lined with orange red, and also lined with a fine row of razor teeth along the edges and center raphis. It eventually produces large orangish seed pods that are reminiscent of pineapples (also called the pineapple tree), but they are not edible.

This tree is frost senstive and gets leaf burn at temperatures below 28. It also doesn't tolerate blazing sun in low humidity. Because of its spiny teeth, gloves must be used to prune off the old leaves.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Escondido, California
Fallbrook, California
Reseda, California
San Marcos, California
Santa Barbara, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Apopka, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida
Cocoa Beach, Florida
Fort Pierce, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Indialantic, Florida
Jensen Beach, Florida
Jupiter, Florida
Naples, Florida (2 reports)
Orlando, Florida (2 reports)
Palm City, Florida
Parrish, Florida
Port Charlotte, Florida
Riverview, Florida (2 reports)
Rockledge, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida (2 reports)
Sarasota, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Venice, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Mountain View, Hawaii
Bayamon, Puerto Rico
Vieques, Puerto Rico

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