Ubiquitously found in Kuramathi, this oddly shaped tree used to be the main source of food during the early famines in the Maldives. Aptly named after its large screw like roots, the plant can reach 12 to 14 metres in height when fully grown. It also bears a delicious fruit covered in a thick greenish hard shell, its flesh red in colour. Locally referred to as “Maa Kashikeyo”, the fruit is eaten raw or boiled to a sweet broth. Palm Pizzeria & Gelateria, one of our 6 à la carte restaurants, also features the fruit on the ice cream menu, a must for all the gelato lovers out there!
The fruit is also a favourite ingredient used in various types of cooking from scrumptious cakes to sweet blended juices.
- Apart from its edible properties, the plant has other interesting uses as well. The early Maldivians were known to use the stems of the Screw Pine tree to craft “Holhuashi”; a resting lounge for the fishermen to idle after toiling in the sea.
- The prop roots were used as an alternative to paint due to its brush like stature.
- Throughout Oceania, almost every part of the plant is used. Pandanus trees provide materials for housing, clothing and textiles including the manufacture of dilly bags.
- The fragrant flowers are used to extract perfume, aromatic oil that are stimulant and antispasmodic and are used against headaches and rheumatism.
- The trees commonly have many thick prop roots near the base, which provide support as the tree grows top-heavy with leaves, fruit, and branches.