Screw pine (കൈത)

Scientific Name: Pandanus sp.

Unique ID: 107

Systematic Position

Class: Monocotyledonae

Series: Nudiflorae

Family: Pandanaceae

Common Names

English – Screw pine

Malayalam – കൈത

Tamil –  Ramba

Hindi – Rampe



Description: The species vary in size from small shrubs less than 1 m (3.3 ft) tall, to medium-sized trees 20 m (66 ft) tall, typically with a broad canopy, heavy fruit, and moderate growth rate. The trunk is stout, wide-branching, and ringed with many leaf scars.Mature plants can have branches.Depending on the species, the trunk can be smooth, rough, or warty.The roots form a pyramidal tract to hold the trunk. They commonly have many thick stilt roots near the base, which provide support as the tree grows top-heavy with leaves, fruit, and branches.These roots are adventitious and often branched. The top of the plant has one or more crowns of strap-shaped leaves that may be spiny,varying between species from 30 cm (12 in) to 2 m (6.6 ft) or longer, and from 1.5 cm (0.59 in) up to 10 cm (3.9 in) broad.

They are dioecious, with male and female flowers produced on different plants.


Habitat:  They grow wild mainly in semi-natural vegetation in littoral habitats throughout the tropical and subtropical Pacific, where they can withstand drought, strong winds, and salt spray. 

Distribution: Southeast Asia; now cultivated in all regions

Uses:  Handicrafts, culinary, housing, clothing, fishing, medication, religious uses