Pandanus abbiwii (PROTA)

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Plant Resources of Tropical Africa
Introduction
List of species


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Pandanus abbiwii Huynh


Protologue: Bot. Helvet. 97(1): 81 (1987).
Family: Pandanaceae

Vernacular names

  • Screw pine (En).

Origin and geographic distribution

Pandanus abbiwii occurs in Ghana.

Uses

The leaves of Pandanus abbiwii are used for making mats, baskets and fish traps, while the fibrous root is used for brushes. The fruit has a pleasant flavour. An infusion of the bark is taken for the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery.

Botany

Dioecious, small tree up to 12 m tall with aerial roots and a branched trunk. Leaves simple, without petiole but with broad clasping base, linear, up to 250 cm × 8 cm, tapering to the apex, margins and midvein with numerous sharp spines, with 94–100 longitudinal veins. Infructescence consisting of 3–5 syncarps; apical syncarp suboblong, c. 26 cm × 12.5 cm. Fruit a 4–9-angular drupe 4–4.5 cm × 1.5 cm × 1.5 cm, usually 2–3-locular, yellow when ripe, upper part of drupe free and dome-shaped.

Pandanus includes about 600 species and is found from West Africa eastward to Madagascar, the Indian Ocean islands, India and most of warmer South-East Asia and the Pacific islands. From Madagascar c. 80 Pandanus species have been reported, and from mainland Africa some 25 species.

Pandanus candelabrum P.Beauv. occurs in Nigeria, where the leaves have been used for making bags for holding salt. In traditional Nigerian medicine the leaves are used for the treatment of sore throat, and bark infusions are used to cure diarrhoea, dysentery and enteritis. Formerly, all Pandanus plants occurring from Senegal eastwards to Angola were considered to belong to Pandanus candelabrum, but more recently a range of species with restricted endemicity have been identified, among which Pandanus abbiwii. As recorded uses of Pandanus in West and Central Africa have usually been attributed to Pandanus candelabrum and not to the new species, assessment of the uses and properties of most new species is difficult.

In Sierra Leone material for weaving mats is obtained by scraping the leaf of Pandanus triangularis H.St.John ex Huynh between a knife and the fingers and drying the product in the sun. Fibre obtained after retting the leaf in water is made into rope, which is sometimes used for making long baskets in which fish are put when caught.

Ecology

Pandanus abbiwii occurs along rivers and near beaches.

Genetic resources

In view of the limited distribution of Pandanus abbiwii the risk of genetic erosion may be high.

Prospects

Pandanus abbiwii is a useful local source of material for weaving. Little is known about this species, however. The taxonomy of Pandanus in West and Central Africa needs further elucidation.

Major references

  • Abbiw, D.K., 1990. Useful plants of Ghana: West African uses of wild and cultivated plants. Intermediate Technology Publications, London and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 337 pp.
  • Burkill, H.M., 1997. The useful plants of West Tropical Africa. 2nd Edition. Volume 4, Families M–R. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, United Kingdom. 969 pp.
  • Huynh, K.-L., 1987. Etude des Pandanus (Pandanaceae) d’Afrique occidentale (3e partie): une espèce nouvelle du Ghana. Botanica Helvetica 97(1): 81–88.
  • Huynh, K.-L., 1989. Le problème de l’identité de Pandanus candelabrum P. Beauv. (Pandanaceae), et l’étude taxonomique de ce genre en Afrique occidentale. Quelques suggestions pour des récoltes optimales de matériel taxonomique de Pandanus, en particulier d’Afrique occidentale. Candollea 44(1): 59–74.
  • Irvine, F.R., 1961. Woody plants of Ghana, with special reference to their uses. Oxford University Press, London, United Kingdom. 868 pp.

Other references

  • Huynh, K.-L., 1988. Etude des Pandanus (Pandanaceae) d'Afrique occidentale (11ième partie): espèces nouvelles de la Sierra Leone. Botanica Helvetica 98(2): 171–194.
  • Huynh, K.-L., 1991. Etude des Pandanus (Pandanaceae) d’Afrique occidentale (12e partie): espèces nouvelles du Cameroun. Botanica Helvetica 101(2): 247–257.
  • Idu, M., Obaruyi, G.O. & Erhabor, J.O., 2008. Ethnobotanical uses of plants among the Binis in the treatment of ophthalmic and ent (ear, nose and throat) ailments. Ethnobotanical Leaflets 13: 480.
  • Laivao, M.O., 2008. Contribution à la systématiques du genre Pandanus (Pandanaceae) à Madagascar. Thèse de Doctorat es Sciences, Faculté des Sciences, Institut de Biologie, Laboratoire de Botanique Evolutive, Université de Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, Suisse. 284 pp.

Author(s)

  • M. Brink, PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands

Correct citation of this article

Brink, M., 2011. Pandanus abbiwii Huynh. [Internet] Record from PROTA4U. Brink, M. & Achigan-Dako, E.G. (Editors). PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa / Ressources végétales de l’Afrique tropicale), Wageningen, Netherlands. <http://www.prota4u.org/search.asp>.

Accessed 7 March 2020.