Pandanus multispicatus

(Pandanus multispicatus)



Pandanus multispicatus (Vakwa de Montanny) is a species of plant in the family Pandanaceae, one of several Pandanus species that are endemic to the Seychelles. This is the only Pandanus of Seychelles that does not become a tree, but rather grows as a low (max 4 meters high), sprawling shrub, the thin stems often lying decumbent along the ground. The fruit bodies resemble corn cobs. Each contains 200-400 individual fruit segments, and several fruit bodies are born together on a stalk. It grows mainly in rocky areas and was previously very common in the higher mountains of Seychelles (the reason for its local name, "Vakwa de Montanny"). Formerly widespread, it is currently restricted to only eight small and isolated populations. Other indigenous Pandanus of the Seychelles include Pandanus sechellarum, Pandanus hornei and Pandanus balfourii. The Madagascan species Pandanus utilis is introduced and is now also widespread. Often called pandanus palms, these plants are not closely related to palm trees. 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. The flowers of the male tree are 2–3 cm (0.79–1.18 in) long and fragrant, surrounded by narrow, white bracts. The female tree produces flowers with round fruits that are also bract-surrounded. The individual fruit is a drupe, and these merge to varying degrees forming multiple fruit, a globule structure, 10–20 cm (3.9–7.9 in) in diameter and have many prism-like sections, resembling the fruit of the pineapple. Typically, the fruit changes from green to bright orange or red as it matures. The fruits can stay on the tree for more than 12 months.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Plantae
Class: Liliopsida
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