Family • Pandanaceae - Pandanus tectorius Sol. - SCREW PINE - Lu dou shu

Scientific names

Pandanus blancoi Kunth
Pandanus coronatus Martelli
Pandanus malatensis Blanco
Pandanus spiralis Blanco
Pandanus vidalii Martelli
Pandanus tectorius Solander.
Pandanus tectorius Sol. ex Parkinson
Pandanus veitchii Mast & T. Moore
Lu dou shu (Chin.)

Common names

Baroi (Bik.)
Laha (Sur.)
Ohañgo (Iv.)
Padan (Iv.)
Pandan-dagat (Tag.)
Pangdan (Ilk., Pang.)
Panglan (Ilk, Sbl.)
Panhaka (Bis.)
Panhakad (Bis.)
Uhañgo (Iv.)
Screw-pine (Engl.)
Lin tou (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Lu dou le
FRENCH: Vacquois, Baquois, Vacouet.
GERMAN: Pandanuspalme.
HAWAIIAN: Hala, Pu hala.
JAPANESE: Adan, Shima tako no ki.
MALAY: Pandan laoet, Pandan pasir.
VIETNAMESE:Dua tro, Dua go.

General info
Pandanus is a genus of monocots of about 600 known species, varying in size from small shrubs less than a meter to medium-sized trees of about 20 meters.


In the Philippines there are 48 species of Pandanus, many of them are endemic, growing in various habitats, from sandy beaches, mangroves and primary forests. The fruit of some species are edible, eaten by bats, rats, crabs, elephants and lizards. The majority of species are dispersed primarily by water.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Pandanus tectorius / Species Profiles for Pacific Island Agroforestry

(2) CRC Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plant / L D Kappoor

(3) Traditional medicine of the Marshall Islands: the women, the plants, the treatments / Irene J. Taafaki, Maria Kabua Fowler, Randolph R. Thaman, University of the South Pacific. Institute of Pacific Studies

(4) Antitubercular triterpenes and phytosterols from Pandanus tectorius Soland. var. laevis / Mario A. Tan, Hiromitsu Takayama, Norio Aimi, Mariko Kitajima, Scott G. Franzblau, Maribel G. Nonato / Journal of Natural Medicines, April 2008, Volume 62, Issue 2, pp 232-235

(5) Sorting Pandanus names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher, / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE /Copyright © 1997 – 2000 The University of Melbourne.



Pandan is an erect, branched small tree, growing 3 to 5 meters high; the trunk bearing many prop roots. Leaves are spirally crowded toward the ends of the branches, glaucous, linear lanceolate, slenderly long-acuminate, up to 1.5 meters long, 3 to 5 centimeters wide, the margins and midrib beneath towards the apex, armed with sharp spiny teeth that point toward the apex of the leaf. Male inflorescence is fragrant, pendulous, up to 0.5 meter long. Fruit is solitary, pendulous, ellipsoid to globose-ellipsoid, about 20 centimeters long, each composed of 50 to 75 or more, obovoid, angular, fibrous and fleshy drupes, 4 to 6 centimeters long, narrow below and truncate at the apex; the stone 4- to 10-celled, slightly sulcate between the cells of the apex, becoming yellow-red to bright red-orange at maturity.


– In thickets along seashores throughout the Philippines.
– Also occurs in Indo-Malayan and Polynesian regions, extending to southern China and tropical Australia.

Essential oil, alkaloids, glycosides, isoprene esters, and tannin.
Blossoms yield an essential oil.
Keora oil contains diterpene, d-linalool, phenylethyl acetate, citral, phenylethyl alcohol ester, ester of phthalic acid, fatty acids and steroptene.
Pandanus fruits contain significant amounts of vitamin C.
Also contains significant amounts of provitamin A carotenoids.


The prop roots possess diuretic properties.
Oil and attar considered stimulant and antispasmodic.
Considered emmenagogue.
Fruits of wild forms contain calcium oxalate crystals which may cause mouth irritation.


Parts utilized 
Leaves and roots.

Edibility / Culinary
– An aromatic leaf used to perfume rice dishes.
– Ripe fruits of wild forms can be consumed after cooking and straining of the pericarp of the fruits.

– Diuretic: Take decoction of fresh or dried prop root as tea.
– Roots used to strengthen the gums.
– In the Philippines, as far back as 1837, water from cuts made near the base of the trunk use to stimulate urination.
Headache, arthritis, stomach spasms: Decoction of leaves.
– Poultice of fresh leaves mixed with oil also used for headaches.
– Wound healing: Pulverized dried leaves used to facilitate wound healing.
– Poultice of mash of cabbage of plant, mixed with salt and juice of Citrus microcarpa, for abscesses.
– Decoction of roots believed to have aphrodisiac and cardiotonic properties.
– Also used for arthritis and to prevent spontaneous abortion.
– Chewing the roots strengthens the gums.
– Decoction of aerial roots use as beverage for cases of blennorrhea.
– Decoction of roots combined with sap of banana plant for urethral injections for variety of urinary complaints.
– Leaves of plant triturated into a mash, slightly salted and added with juice of Citrus microcarpa, used as hot poultice for new boils.
– In Ayurveda, leaves used for filarial diseases, leucorrhea, leprosy, smallpox, scabies, syphilis and leukoderma.
– In traditional Indian systems, used for filarial disease, leucorrhea and as emmenagogue.
– Anthers of male flowers used for earaches and headaches.
– In the Marshall Islands, used for abnormal menstrual bleeding, after delivery, infant jaundice, colic and restlessness.
– In Palau, roots used to make a drink to alleviate stomach cramps. Leaves used to alleviate vomiting.

– Fiber.
– Decorative: Use of flowers or seeds in making leis.

Study Findings
• Anti-Inflammatory: Fresh juice of the aerial root of Pandanus tectorius produced i34.5 % inhibition ofcarrageenin-induced edema.
• Intestinal Motility / Uterine Stimulant: Study in rats suggest stimulant property on gastrointestinal motility and uterine stimulant action.
• Antibacterial: Study results indicate that Pandanus tectorium have antibacterial effects on B subtilis but not on E coli, P aeruginosa, C albicans or S aureus.
• Antitubercular / Triterpenes and Phytosterols: Study of a chloroform extract of leaves yielded a new tirucallane-type triterpene, 24,24-dimethyl-5β-tirucall-9,25-dien-3-one, squalene and a mixture of the phytosterols stigmasterol and β-sitosterol. Compound 1 inhibited the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv with a MIC of 64 μg/mL, while squalene and the sterol mixture have MICs of 100 and 128 μg/mL, respectively.
• Fruits /Phenolic Compounds and Flavonoids: Study isolated 15 compounds (ten phenolics and five flavonoids) from the fruits of P. tectorius. Of the compounds, trans-ethyl acetate was the highest one with about 0.1% of the dry material. Most of the compounds possessed anti-oxidative activities, with some anti-inflammatory activities.

Small scale commercial production.