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Pandanus tectorius | by D.Eickhoff
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Pandanus tectorius

Hala or Screwpine

Pandanaceae (Screwpine family)

Indigenous to the Hawaiian Islands

Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden, Oʻahu (Koʻolau Mountains in background)


The aerial root tips called "scales," were pounded, juice strained and heated by early Hawaiians. They were mixed with eucalyptus in a pūloʻuloʻu (steam bath) to treat colds. A mixture of aerial roots with kō (sugar cane) and other plants was used as a tonic for mothers weakened by child birth. The mixture was also given for chest pains. When mixed with other plants, the roots were used in urinary tract infections, low energy and red eyes. The tips are said to be rich in vitamin B.

The keys (fruits) of the form hala pia were used medicinally.



Polynesian Names for Female Tree:

ʻAra (Cooks, Mangareva); ʻAra tai (Cooks); ʻAra taʻatai (Cooks); Balawa (Fiji); Fā (Niue, Tonga, ʻUvea); Faʻa (Southern Marquesas); Fala (Futuna, Samoa, Tokelau, Tuvalu); Fara Societies, Tuamotus); Fasa (Samoa); Haʻa (Northern Marquesas); Hala or Hala hua (Hawaiʻi); Vadra (Fiji)


Polynesian Names for Male Tree:

Higano (Tokelau, ʻUvea); Hingano (Tonga); Sigano (Futuna, Samoa); Hinano (Marquesas, Societies); Hīnano (Hawaiʻi); ʻIngano (Cooks)



The generic name is derived from the Amboinese term pandan, Latinized to produce Pandanus.


The Latin specific epithet tectorius carries the meanings "of plasterer; of rooftops, growing on rooftops, of the tiles."



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Taken on July 15, 2008