Red Fruit Screw Pine
A large, branching, broad-leaved Pandanus found in lowland areas in New Guinea and some of its surrounding islands where it is popular for its large, slender infructescence that can grow as long as 1 m (3 ft.). The fruits, which can be a brilliant fire engine red or sometimes yellow, are the source of an important food product in New Guinea, and several cultivars are known. The ripe fruits are cooked until the oily pericarp separates from the seeds. The product is strained and becomes a sauce which is seasoned and eaten with sweet potatoes and other staple foods. Apart from a high oil content, the fruits are also very rich in antioxidants and beta carotene and are said to have anti-cancer properties. Apart from its great value as a food source, it is also a very ornamental plant but is little known outside of its native range. In cultivation, it does best in a humid tropical environment.