Also known as pandanus, screwpine is an odd-looking tree that grows in tropical and subtropical coastal regions across the globe. While it is not related to the pineapple nor a palm the leaves of the screwpine do resemble the palm tree species. Screwpine grows aerial roots at the base that appear to lift the tree several feet out of the ground. The branches grow prop roots that support the heavy branches during strong winds and heavy rain. In some areas this prolific tree is second only in number to coconut palms.

The edible leaves have a floral-like aroma that are used for making sandwich wraps and teas. However it is the fruit of this exotic tree that draws the most attention. With its strange shape and multi-hued appearance the screwpine fruit actually looks like it came from another planet! About the size of an American football the screwpine fruit is studded with about one hundred protruding segments called keys or cones which start out with a green highlight on the bud which turns to orange and transitions to yellow and white near the base where the cone connects to the core. The cones are sweet and yield a juice that tastes like a thick mango nectar. 

Here are some of the traditional uses for the screwpine fruit and leaves:

  • Relaxing
  • Reliving Anxiety and Stress
  • Pain abatement
  • GI Cramps and Spams
  • Arthritis
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Reduces Fevers
  • Skin Fungus
  • Dandruff
  • Sunburns
  • Natural Mosquito Repellant

This is just one of the many exotic tropical fruits that we have growing here at Hippocrates. Come to Hippocrates to learn more about screwpine and dozens more of the rare trees we have on our beautiful campus and their many benefits.

Article by Brian Hetrich, Greenhouse Manager

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