Seaside plant common to Pacific tropical islands, the screw pine produces large, edible, clustered fruit looking much like a pineapple.
Medium sized tree to 15-25ft. Screw pine's form thickets of support roots near the lower part of their trunks. Leaves are long, up to several feet, and fan out in clusters from the branches. Male and female flowers are borne on separate trees.
The screw pine is mildly hardy, surviving to about 32-35F.
It is adapted to salt water, seaside conditions, so it does well in poor or highly alkaline soil. Grows well in full sun or part shade.
By seed. The screw pine develops large fruits with 40-80 segments, each of which usually contain one or two seeds.
Fruits are eaten raw or cooked. The tree is also prized for its fiber, found in its long leaves. Fiber is used in the South Pacific for weaving into a variety of items--from clothing to sails. The plant also has a few medicinal applications. Probably most common, the plant is grown as a lovely ornamental, especially near salt water or in bog-like areas.
Extends from Northern Australia through the South Pacific islands and to Hawaii.