Herbs & Plants Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Pandanus conoideus

Botanical Name: Pandanus conoideus
Family: Pandanaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Pandanales
Genus: Pandanus
Species: P. conoideus

Bryantia butyrophora Webb; Pandanus butyrophorus (Webb) Kurz.; Pandanus ceramicus Kunth [Illegitimate]; Pandanus cominsii Hemsl.; Pandanus cominsii var. augustus B. C. Stone; Pandanus cominsii var. micronesicus B. C. Stone; Pandanus englerianus Martelli; Pandanus erythros H. St. John; Pandanus hollrungii f. caroliniana Martelli; Pandanus latericius B. C. Stone; Pandanus magnificus Martelli;

Common Names: Marita, Red fruit, Pandan, Kuansu, Buah Merah, Screwpine, Pandanus ‘Cokelat’, Marita, Oil Pandan, Red Pandanus

Name in Other Languages: Papua New Guinea: Aran, Arang, Marita ( Tok Pisin ), Abare ( Huli) Opar ( Mendi ), Dapu ( Kewa ), Pangu ( Wira ), Apare ( Duna ), Neka ( Imbongu ) in higher areas of Southern Highlands Province; Kayo ( Etoro ), Oka ( Kaluli ) Alakape ( Onabasolo) , Oga ( Hawalisi ), Abare ( Foi ), Sina ( Podopa ), Anga ( Samberigi ), Hase ( Fasu ), Anga ( Pole ) in lower areas of Southern Highlands Province; Simaho ( Ankave ) in the Gulf Province.
Indonesians: Buah Merah ( Malay) , Kuansu ( Wamena ), Kuansu, Sak ( Papua Barat ) Pandan Seran ( Alf Seram, Maluku ), Saun ( Buru, Maluku ), Kleba ( North Halmahera, Maluku ), Siho, Garoko Ma Ngauku ( Maluku)

Habitat: Pandanus conoideus is native to Papua, Indonesia.Origin: New Guinea, Moluccas. Limited to New Guinea and some of the islands to the west (Ceram, Buru and Ternate) in Indonesia to West Pacific. A rare plant . It grows throughout PNG from sea level up to 1650 m altitude. It becomes common above 500m. It can be up to 2,500m above sea level.

Pandanus conoideus is a Perennial, branching, dioecious evergreen aborescent shrub, growing 15 meters high. It grows best in moist locations, often under shade, and tolerates water-logged soils. It thrives in loose, fertile soil rich in humus. Its roots constitute the root of the air which strung to the height of one meter through the bottom of the stem. Stem is brown with white spots, round, beam vessels does not seem obvious, hard, direction grow vertically or upright, branching number 2-4, and prickly surface.


Leaves are sessile, densely arranged in corkscrew spirals towards the terminal of the stem and branches, broadly linear, strap-shaped, 1–2 m long by 5–8 cm wide, bright green, glaucous beneath, thin to firm, apex acute, margins and mid rib prickly.

Flower: Male inflorescence unknown. Female inflorescence oblong-cylindrical head enclosed by bracts, stigma flat and broad.

Fruit: Fruit head is short and oblong to elongate and cylindrical, when ripe. They are 30-120 cm long and 10-25 cm diameter. The fruit is green to bright orange color turning to red, maroon and also to brown or yellow as it matures. An average weight of the fruit is about 7.5 kg. External skin of the fruit looks like a jack fruit.

Fruit Color: Green to bright orange, red, maroon and also to brown or yellow as it matures.

Flesh Color: Creamy White

Fruit Weight: 7.5 kg

Climate: tropical, tropical highlands. Humidity: humid. It grows throughout PNG from sea level up to 1650 m altitude. It becomes common above 500 m. It can be up to 2,500 m above sea level. Marita is often planted along the roads and walking tracks. It is also planted in most gardens and serves as a reminder that the land is owned by the person who planted the marita. So plants are dispersed instead of being grown in a plantation. A marita fruit is harvested when the colour starts to change to a brighter red or yellow. Sometimes it also starts to crack slightly at this stage. The fruit is cut from the branch. Marita is a seasonal crop but the fruiting season is not a short clearly marked one. The main season goes from about October to March but individual trees can bear almost throughout the year. Near the sea the marita season is longer and more spread out but as the places increase in altitude above sea level the season becomes more distinct. Carbon Farming Solutions – Cultivation: regional crop only. Management: standard (Describes the non-destructive management systems that are used in cultivation.

Edible Uses:
Edible Portion: Fruit, Spice. The red fruit is high in oil. The ripe fruit is cooked then the juice mixed with water to make a sauce. To do this, a ripe marita fruit is normally split into 3 sections along its length. Then the central yellow stalk and pith area are dug out. The outside hard red layer is then cooked. Preferably it is cooked using hot stones although sometimes it is boiled in a saucepan. After cooking for about half an hour the hard pits are squeezed from the soft red juice by squeezing through the hands. Water is added to make an oily red soup. The soup is then eaten. Sometimes it is eaten by dipping green leaves or sago into the soup. At other times it is eaten with a spoon made from the marita leaf. Some people just suck the cooked juice from the seeds. As well, some people use the oily juice to cook food in. The pits or seeds are thrown away, normally to pigs. A harvested marita fruit will only keep for about one week. After cooking it will only last for about 12 hours. Carbon Farming Solutions – Staple Crop: oil (The term staple crop typically refers to a food that is eaten routinely and accounts for a dominant part of people’s diets in a particular region of the world)

Medicinal Uses:
Traditionally believed to be a good supplement as a skin and eye medicine, and as worm treatment. The variant merah panjang (long red) is used.

The fruit is a nutrient dense fruit which consists of huge amount of nutrients, vitamins, minerals. We can find numerous health benefits of Red fruit (Buah Merah). Listed below are some of the benefits of the Red fruit (Buah Merah). Read them to know more.

Traditional Medicinal benefits of Pandanus conoideus:

*Pandanus conoideus mix Juice is good in curing dengue fever.

*Pandanus conoideus oil is used by people for traditional medicine.

*Pandanus conoideus is used by local people as natural medicine for many diseases such as cancer, arteriosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and stroke.

*Pandanus conoideus has been known to local inhabitants in Papua for many generations as a natural food supplement containing medicinal qualities and as a dye.
*Pandanus conoideus oil has been used in ethnic tribal communities for stamina and illnesses.

*It is traditionally believed to be a good supplement as a skin and eye medicine, and as a vermifuge.

*The special usage of the oil is to cure some diseases, such as cancer, HIV, malaria, cholesterol and diabetes mellitus.

Other Uses:
*Pandanus conoideus is the traditional fruit of Papuans, who served during the “burn stone” ceremony.

*Leaves are dried out and rolled, and used to make mats in Kerala, India; and Hawaii.

*It is said that this strain of Buah Merah is harvested twice a year.

*Roots can be made rope, binding and mats then the trunk as the board.

*Pandanus conoideus is one of the most important cultivated trees in orchards and around houses in highland Papua New Guinea.

*Dregs of Pandanus conoideus oil extraction can be used as feed supplement for poultry.

*Oil from drupes is also used as hair and body oil, as polish for arrow shafts, and for paints and dyes.

*Leaves are sometimes used for thatching materials.

*Leaves stem bark, and roots from red fruit plant are used to make ropes, yarn, and seat cover, even as a bed for sleeping.

*The leaves stem bark and root of the Pandanus conoideus are used in making handicrafts by the indigenous Papuans.

*Young leaves are used as a substitute for cigarette wrap.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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