Kaitha

Scientific Name :
Pandanus odorifer (Forssk.) Kuntze
Synonym(s) :
Pandanus fascicularis Lam.
Local/Common name(s) :
Kaitha, Thazha
Family :
Pandanaceae
Habit :
Shrubs
Flowering/Fruiting Time :
July-November
Habitat :
Mangrove forests and sea coasts
Endemic :
No
Status (IUCN) :
Distribution :
Tropical and subtropical Asia
Nativity :
Indigenous
Uses :
Medicine
Description (Morphology) :

Branched shrubs or small trees; trunk greyish-brown, ringed by leaf-scars and with basal prop roots. Leaves spiralled in 3 rows, upto 200 cm long and 6 cm broad, linear-ensiform, apex gradually narrowed into an elongated triquete flagella, the margins and dorsal midrib armed with white prickles, glaucous beneath. Female inflorescence a solitary terminal cephalium, pendulous in fruit. Phalanges mostly 5-15-celled, the carpels concentrically arranged, their apices with U-or V-shaped stigmas. Male inflorscence of several spikes, with white or cream axillant bracts, 5-10 cm long, composed of numerous phalanges; anthers apiculate. Fruit c. 20 x 10 cm oblong, red-orange.

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