World Pandanaceae: An overview

  • Altafhusain Nadaf
  • Rahul Zanan


The Old World tropical screw pine family Pandanaceae represents palm-like trees with long, narrow, rigid, spirally arranged pineapple-like leaves and prop roots. The family has botanical interest because of its suggested pivotal position in the evolution of the monocotyledons (Meeuse 1965, 1966), unusual growth forms (Guillaumet 1973; Stone 1970; Tomlinson et al. 1970), and breeding systems (Hutchinson 1973; Rendle 1930; Stone 1968; Warburg 1900). The Pandanaceae, or screw pine family, is believed to be entirely dioecious (Cox 1984). The family contains four genera, Freycinetia, Pandanus, Sararanga, and Martellidendron, geographically distributed from seaside to high mountains (Wardah and Setyowati 2009). Among the four genera, genus Pandanus has the broadest geographical distribution, occurring throughout the Old World tropics (West Africa eastward throughout tropical areas to the Pacific Islands), having approximately 600 species with tree and shrub habit. It is followed by Freycinetia, with a more limited range from Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Oceania (Ceylon eastward through the Malesian area into the Pacific and New Zealand), comprises nearly 300 species of lianas. Next to Freycinetia, genus Martellidendron represents 7-foot-tall tree species endemic to Madagascar and the Seychelles islands. Finally, genus Sararanga is confined to the Philippines, New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands, with only two tall tree species (Callmander et al. 2003; Stone 1983). The area-wise distribution at the global level is given in Fig. 1.1.


Late Cretaceous Early Cretaceous Pacific Island Solomon Island Broad Geographical Distribution 


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© Springer India 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Altafhusain Nadaf
    • 1
  • Rahul Zanan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of PunePuneIndia

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