Tropical tree with a funny name, Screw Pine

Every once in a while I discover a new plant that totally enchants me. My latest discovery is Pandalus utilis, with a common name Screw Pine, tropical tree from Madagascar. I met one in person, a few days ago, at the Sunken Gardens botanical gardens in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The appearance of the tree is palm-like. Leaves at the end of the branches remind me of a pineapple plant. To me, its fruits also look a lot like pineapples. They are edible if cooked first. The taste of a raw fruit is said to not be very appealing to humans.
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Screw Pine tree fruit  © Daria 2013
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Screw pine is an evergreen and its leaves need to be handled carefully because of the sharp spines along the edges. In India and Hawaii, dried leaves are rolled and and weaved into mats and other hand crafts by local artisans.
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Screw Pine tree with fruits © Daria 2013
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Screw Pine tree does well in tropical coastal areas for its tolerance of salt spray and salty soil, and often used for erosion control of sand dunes. With plenty of water and humidity it will grow faster and more lush, outdoors in frost-free areas, and indoors with temperatures above 55°F (12.7°C).
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About the author

Daria

Most of all Daria enjoys creating, designing, taking photos of, writing about and sharing all the beautiful, cheerful things and moments. She finds them everywhere she goes. And tons of fun people, too!

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