Description: Trees, shrubs or climbers, aerial roots often present, usually in the form of prop roots but occasionally as aerial roots from branches.
Leaves in 4 rows, spiralled, crowded or regularly spaced, simple, linear, narrow-lanceolate, ovate, obovate, base sheathing, often with auricles, margins recurved, margins and midrib prickly.
Inflorescence paniculate or the flowers massed into dense terminal spikes; spathe present. Flowers very reduced, unisexual and plants usually dioecious or rarely monoecious (Freycinetia). Perianth usually absent. Male spikes pedunculate, usually formed by numerous stamens that are fused. Female spikes pedunculate with a 1-locular, superior ovary sometimes confluent with adjacent ovaries to form a cylindroid mass stigmas separate or united; ovules solitary–many, basal or parietal.
Individual fruit a berry or a drupe; aggregated into an infructescence, becoming woody or succulent.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 3 genera, c. 700 species, chiefly tropical regions, except America. Australia: 2 genera, 21 species, Qld, N.S.W., N.T., W.A.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Pandanaceae, Order: Pandanales)
The family includes species used to make bags and mats, in some cases the fruits are edible.
Text by A. K. Brooks
| ||Key to the genera|| |
|1||Shrubs or trees with many branches, the stems with leaf scars; fruit a drupe; carpels 1-seeded||Pandanus|
|Climber or the stems straggling, the stems covered with persisting sheaths of leaf bases; fruit a berry; carpels many-seeded||Freycinetia|