Description: Dioecious shrubs or trees; stems much-branched, stems and branches ringed with distinct leaf scars, aerial roots present, usually in the form of prop roots.
Leaves in 4 rows, spiralled, crowded towards apices of stems or branches, simple, linear, bases sheathing, margins recurved, margins and midrib prickly.
Inflorescences dense, pedunculate spikes with large spathe-like bracts. Filaments of male spikes fused into columns. Female spikes pedunculate, carpels united into hard, smooth phalanges, aggregated on a thick rachis forming an infructescence when mature.
Infructescence ovoid; individual fruit a drupe, bright red, orange or yellow when ripe, often 2- or 3-toned; seed solitary.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 600 species, tropical regions except America. Australia: >30 species (native), Qld, N.S.W., N.T., W.A.
Text by A. K. Brooks
|One species in NSW: Pandanus tectorius|