Family: Pandanaceae

Found from Southeast Asia to the Pacific Islands, the climbers or scramblers of this large genus have lance-shaped or linear leaves, small flowers and prettily coloured, often fragrant bracts. The oblong, cone-like fruit is woody or rather fleshy, with many seeds. Not readily available outside its countries of origin.


F. australiensis is a vigorous climber from the rainforests of northern Queensland, with long, curved leaves and red bracts sur­rounding the flowers. It can be grown on trees in tropical and subtropical areas and elswhere as a potted plant.

F. banksii, from New Zealand, will climb to 30 m (100 ft) or more. Multi-branched, it has narrow leaves, up to 1 m (3 ft) long and about 25 mm (1 in) wide. The flowers are enclosed by fragrant bracts, the inner ones being thick and white or pale lilac at the base, and edible with a sweet taste.


In frost-prone climates, grow in a warm, humid greenhouse or conservatory. They also make excellent house plants. Shade plants from direct sun. Water well in summer, more sparingly in winter. Propagate from suck­ers removed in spring and inserted in cuttings compost until well rooted.


At least zone 10.