Pandanus odoratissimus (Kewra)

Database of Endemic & Garden Plants of Pakistan

Moderators: Izhar, Tahir Khan, mirafzalkhan, Hamad Ahmed Kisana, rafique, KBW, jdashraf, Hamad, M Farooq

M Farooq
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Pandanus odoratissimus (Kewra)

Post by M Farooq » August 1st, 2013, 7:45 pm

Botanical Name Pandanus odoratissimus, Pandanus odorifer, Keura odorifera, Pandanus fascicularis
Additional note Pandanus tectorius as sold by many seeds vendors is also highly fragrant
Family Pandanaceae
Local Name in Urdu Kewra
Common Name Screw pine
Life Cycle Evergreen
Cultivar Name NA
Fragrant or Not Very fragrant. One bloom is enough to make the whole lawn fragrant with a sweet aroma. Note the male and female plants exist separately. Female bears pineapple like fruits
Category(Bush/Vine/Tree) A
Height Palm like evergreen that can reach up to 20 ft under uncontrolled conditions
Spacing Grows very closely
Flowering Months Occasional bloom in a year, usually summer time
Flower Color Flowers are almost invisible, white an unattractive. However the flowers are covered with large light yellow coloured bracts
Growing Areas India (common), Pakistan (rare)
Frost Tender Yes
Exposure Full sun to semishade
Soil pH Tolerant
Propagation Seeds (soak them for 24 hours before growing), Cuttings of offshoots
Uses Fragrance is distilled, leaves used for thatching
Other Details Pandanus looks like an evergreen palm, the spiny green leaves are arranged spirally at the end of branches. Pandanus require a tropical climate, full sun to partial shade, and well drained soil. Pandanus also give off supporting roots to support the heavy plant. Pandanus flowers once a while in a year but it is a feast when it flowers! A single flower makes the whole lawn fragrant and one can feel the sweet aromatic wafts by standing near the plant. The flower lasts for 1-2 days. After drying the flowers shed tons of pollen. People allergic to pollen must avoid it. It is a must have plant for anyone interested in fragrant plants.

Pandanus is sold by many nurserymen in Pakistan as screwpine/ kewra. It is not a true plant so do not buy the rather expensive plant until and unless the true identity has been established (see notes below). But so far my attempts to find the true Pandanus odoratissimus have gone in vain. The only plant I had was at Karachi University. Unfortunately those plants have been uprooted by others and don't exist anymore. The internet images can be misleading.The following pictures are taken from a highly reliable source (Flora of Taiwan 2nd ed. 5: 700, 2000 , Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinicia, Taiwan; with permission, Photographer 劉瑞鎮, CC BY-NC)

Note: 1) Thick dark green/ greenish grey leaves
2) Large spines along the leaf edges, and on the mid rib. Plants sold in Pakistan have spines either very small or missing
MALE PLANT
Image

FEMALE PLANT
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Image

KBW
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Re: Pandanus odoratissimus (Kewra)

Post by KBW » October 18th, 2013, 5:16 am

Farooq bhai, posting the pics as requested.

These pics were taken in Bahawalnagar, Sulaimanki areas during my hunting trips and are of Kewra plants growing in the wild (yes, during hunting and fishing trips, half of the pics that I take are of wild plants :D ). As you can see, one of the plants is a male plant. The other plants was not flowering so I am not sure about the gender. Kewra grows wild in the marshy areas of Bahawalnagar, Sulaimanki, Kasur etc. I took one of the flowers and it kept my vehicle scented for quite some time.

Image


Image


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Hope it helps.
regards

M Farooq
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Re: Pandanus odoratissimus (Kewra)

Post by M Farooq » October 18th, 2013, 5:38 am

Thank you for posting your personal pictures on my request. I have been searching (after losing) this plant for the 15 years and nurserymen in Karachi are blank about it.

Now those forum members who wanted this plant (Munir sb, Arif sb, and A.Y Khan) know where it grows. No need to import seeds and wait for 10 years to see the flowers. I would add a note here that according to the Flora of Pakistan (the real one, maintained by Missouri Botanical Gardens), female Kewra plants are rare in Pakistan.

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Re: Pandanus odoratissimus (Kewra)

Post by aykhan » October 18th, 2013, 5:57 am

Very nice. Now who wants to go hunting in the marshy areas of Bahawalnagar :D

newton
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Re: Pandanus odoratissimus (Kewra)

Post by newton » October 18th, 2013, 6:16 am

ME! ME! ME!
"Eh minno vhi ley ja naal ey chitti gaddi waalia"
:lol: :lol: :lol:

On a serious note its one the plants in my must have list and I would dearly love to have one for my garden in Jhelum

Regards
Ifzal

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Re: Pandanus odoratissimus (Kewra)

Post by aykhan » October 18th, 2013, 6:48 am

A plan is in the works then!

M Farooq
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Re: Pandanus odoratissimus (Kewra)

Post by M Farooq » October 18th, 2013, 7:32 am

A. Y. Khan sahib, I will certainly bother you for one kewra branch (as a token of appreciation of finding the source in Pakistan haha :-)), once you get one plant. Actually KBW sb and I were talking one phone, somehow Pandanus came up. He said he has seen plenty of them. And I requested him to share the information as soon as possible.

If you guys are planning a visit in reality, cut the branches in such a way that at least one prop (or buttress) root is incorporated in the branch.

Just for reader's interest: Pandanus odoratissmus and Pandanus fascicularis are synonyms.

Regards,

Farooq

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Re: Pandanus odoratissimus (Kewra)

Post by aykhan » October 18th, 2013, 10:05 am

Farooq Saheb not really sure I can go to Bahawalnagar but the idea is quite enchanting.

M Farooq
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Re: Pandanus odoratissimus (Kewra)

Post by M Farooq » October 18th, 2013, 10:11 am

aykhan wrote:Farooq Saheb not really sure I can go to Bahawalnagar but the idea is quite enchanting.
Yes it is. It is exciting to know that Pandanus exists in abundance in Pakistan.

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Re: Pandanus odoratissimus (Kewra)

Post by aykhan » October 18th, 2013, 11:02 am

If we can find out the exact location maybe something can be worked out with friends who know friends or someone on the area. Sirji KBW if needed can you give directions?

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