Saturday, July 17, 2010

This fruit can be unusual for you!

This fruit is unusual for me, and i assume it is unusual for you too, Pandanus species, with multiple fruits. That means this is a bunch of fruits, not unlike a bunch of bananas, or a bunch of grapes. But the nearest similar in appearance is the pineapple, also a multiple fruit fused together in the pineapple fruit we are very familiar with.

I took these photos in Batanes, a group of islands in the northernmost tip of the Philippines. It is nearer toTaiwan than to Manila, which is 50 min by plane. In fact there was this joke that in Batanes you can hear the sounds of roosters when they croak every hour through the night.

But this plant is common also in other parts of the country especially near the seashores, where most of the resorts in the country are located. I have also glanced at a single fruiting plant near the Station I of Boracay.

 Several fruit bunches are born by this plant, and they almost ripened at the same time.

The plants are mostly seen in clusters near the seashores or top of the coral cliffs. Batanes islands are mostly uplifted corals, and lots of these Pandanus utilis plants are growing there.

Bigger older plants, which are almost like trees serve as roof  shelters for these carabaos in Imnajbu, Batan Island.  A herd of them lives in these quarters.

These are multiple fruits at closer view. Please look at the individual fruits detached from the bunch. I am not actually familiar with the use of the fruits, however our tour guide, Joax, informed me that these are eaten by the coconut crabs, which are common delicacy in the area.

Postcript: thanks to Floridagirl for the ID, Pandanus utilis.
For more information about this palm, origin, utilization and function please visit:


  1. Hi Andrea, I have not seen such plant before. Looks spectacular from afar. Funny to see those buffaloes find shelter there. What a unique plant. The seeds look like palm seeds. Have a great weekend!

  2. Andrea, this fruit is very unusual to me because I have never seen it before. My fragrant pandan plant never bear any flowers nor fruits. That clump of pandanus really looks like a shed! This island is beautiful. If I go to Philippines, I'll surely wish to visit this place with you.

  3. Another interesting post ... and some great photos. What a great shot of the buffaloes in amongst the stand of Pandanus.

    These trees are very familiar to me. There were many of these around the beaches in the small town where I grew up. My hometown is surrounded by seven beaches and nearly all had stands of this Pandanus. The fruit was a common sight for us as children, yet we were never tempted to try them. We feasted on mulberries and mangoes instead!!

  4. Andrea, this is a beautiful and unusual fruit. The screw pine (Pandanus utilis) is a common landscape specimen here in Florida, though I've never had one in my own garden. Definitely one to catch the eye.

  5. Wow, those are crazy looking! :D

  6. Thanks for sharing this interesting information.

  7. Crazy fruit! It looks like something from a science fiction movie. Something I can't look at for too long without getting grossed out.

    So was this a vacation for you? That photo with the animals was really nice. Must have been absolutely beautiful.

  8. Very interesting pictures and information. And of course unusual for me. Love to watch and read about unusual things.

  9. I grew up a few hundred metres away from the seaside. Mangroves thrive on delta-like waterfront. On a slightly sandy beaches, these pandanus grow happily. Some will their way up the riverside. The fruits resemble that of Nipah.

  10. Wow! What a weird fruit. It reminds me of oil palm.

  11. Hahaha - i love your comments. Most have not seen this yet, except for Bernie (Australia), Floridagirl (USA) and Bangchik (Malaysia.

    Steph - they are not seeds, they are individual fruits, and yes they look like palms because they are palms. hehe

    Autumn Belle - the islands of Batanes are really beautiful, that's why even if i was there last year, i went again last June, but this time with Backpack Photography workshop. The carabao shed is really lovely.

    Bernie - i am curious where your childhood days are spent. The town you mentioned seem very inviting and idyllic, as if it looks more beautiful than the place you are in now.

    Floridagirl - thank you for the scientific name. It is called screw pine but definitely not a pine but a palm. I've researched on it and very good discusion is in Wikipedia.

    Kyna and Ruth - thank you for visiting and taking time to comment here

    Wendy - LOL for the grossing out part of your comment. Yes i was on vacation and photography workshop. Batanes islands in the Philippines is said to be like a mini Scotland.

    Birdy - thanks for your visit, yes it is unusual to most people.

    BAngchik - that is true! I wonder what your Nipah is, but i know of nipa, although nipa's fruits are definitely much bigger than this pandanus. Your former area seems to be idyllic and resort-like.

    Aaron - yes palms almost have the same style of fruits. Pandanus is also a palm. thanks for your visit.

  12. Hi Andrea....What an interesting and beautiful post. I love the seed pods, most unusual.
    Buffalo finding shelter was another hidden surprise.

  13. I can't say I've ever seen this fruit. It looks quite interesting. Your pictures are all good. I particularly like the photograph of the animals under the older plant.

  14. It is unusual for me too and such an unusual shape aswell. I wonder what they taste like

  15. What an unusual-looking fruit, although it does look like a pineapple. I was wondering if it was edible. I love visiting your blog--I feel as if I've just been on a trip to a lovely corner of the world I'll probably never get to see otherwise!

  16. Never heard of it at all. While the crabs eat it do humans? Did you try it? I'd love to try it. It's pretty cool.

    P.S. Not sure if Skeeter heard from you or not. I'll let her know you haven't heard from her. She has been busy with family visiting and other stuff. I'll also tell her you got the gourd seeds.

  17. Cheryl - yeah, the buffaloes, we call carabaos know where to seek shelter from the intense heat of the sun, hehe. thanks for visiting.

    Linda - thanks for saying my photos are good, and yes it is cool to see the carabaos making it as their home.

    Rosie -since it is a nut or palm, then maybe it is a bit oily too, but only the coconut crabs can say what it really taste like, haha!

    Rose - thank you for your habit of visiting my site, yes i make it a point to at least choose plants which might not be too common with you, my readers. I am trying to introduce the unique and beautiful.

    Tina - thanks for informing Skeeter, actually i've put the message also weeks ago in your site, as she doesnt seem to be receiving my private emails. But maybe she hasn't seen them too. That is okay, i will always appreciate her generosity. And you Tina thanks for dropping by. That plant is said to be eaten by humans in other parts of the worls, said Wikipedia, but here it is not eaten by humans. I am not that brave enough to try it as well. hehe.

  18. I believe I saw that plant along the road to my uncle's house in Kuala Penyu, Sabah, Malaysia. And there were also buffaloes nearby - as noticed by Stephanie. It was my first time, too, and if I were driving the car, I would have stopped to enjoy the scenery because it's also near a beach.

  19. I think I have seen this plant before and Im famaliar with this pandanus genes plant.
    I doubt they are edible.
    Truly its a magnificient plant to behold.

  20. Hi Andrea, I've never seen this...not even on blogs before. They're pretty and they look like they'll taste good too!! The ones with the buffaloes--that's spectacular!

  21. Ismail N - thanks for dropping by, i hope you come again.

    James - yes it is common near the seashore. Only the crabs eat them, but in Wiki it says long ago the old people of some countries eat them, with preparations.

    Kanak - yes the carabao finding shelter under this Pandanus is lovely, many appreciated it too even in FB. Only the crabs eat them here. thanks.

  22. aloha andrea,

    i have a huge stand of the variegated yellow/green pandanas but have never seen them flower,in hawaii they are used for making mats, hats, thatching, leis almost anything used by the hawaiian craft maker.... thanks for sharing it.

    help me decide on a photo from my plant fanatic blog, if you don't mind?

  23. your second picture of the fruit reminds me of the berries I have in my backyard only yours are gigantic by comparison.
    Interesting post, thanks!

  24. I did not know that crabs ate fruit! How interesting this post is to me....

  25. Noel - Pandanus is a big genus and lots of species under it. I have gone to choose my pick in your photos.

    Lily Hydrangea - yes somehow they look like big berries but they belong to palms. Thanks for visiting here.

    Skeeter - haha, it was so unusual for me too, crabs eating palms. Maybe coconuts are very seldom in the island so this is their alternative. thanks for visiting.


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