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Pandanus pygmaeus Thouars

Family Name: Pandanaceae
Synonyms: Freycinetia leucacantha, Foullioya graminifolia, Freycinetia racemosa, Pandanus racemosus
Common Name: Small Screwpine, Dwarf Screwpine, Pygmy Screwpine, 禾叶露兜树, 矮露兜树
Full Sun Moderate Water Coastal Plant Ornamental Leaves Drought Tolerant Creeper Herbaceous Plant


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant, Creeper
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Dwarf
Maximum Height 0.3 m to 0.6 m


Native Distribution North and East Madagascar
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Monsoon Forest, Riverine)
Preferred Climate Zone Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Herbaceous monocot shrub, one of the dwarfest member of Pandanus genus, growing up to only 0.6m height when planted in ground. Low clumping form, aboveground stem not obvious, sending out basal runners that root upon ground contact.
Foliage Leaves linear, striped with green centre and bright yellow edges, spirally arranged in ranks of 3s around hidden stem. Leaf margins and keels armed with numerous hooked flexible spines.
Flowers Cream-coloured, produced in inconspicuous clusters on short peduncle (inflorescence stalk). Plant is diocecious, with male and female flowers found on separate plants (note: photos here show male flowers). Blooming seldom observed under local conditions.
Habitat Endemic to Madagascar, found in freshwater wetlands, rock faces and near forested sites.
Cultivation Hardy species, somewhat drought-tolerant when established, though preferring regular watering. Propagate by division and rhizome cuttings. Beware of scratchy foliar spines, and use thick gloves when working with plant.
Etymology Genus epithet 'Pandanus' is Latinized form of Malayan name. Species epithet 'pygmaeus' means 'pygmy', a reference to the plant's dwarf form.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Waterlogged Soils (Drains Site), Saline Soils / Salt Spray, Dry Soils / Drought
Landscape Uses General, Flowerbed / Border, Coastal, Container Planting
Thematic Landscaping Golden Garden, Naturalistic Garden
Usage Hazard - Cons Spines/Thorns - Leaf

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Storage Organ, Division


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green, Yellow / Golden
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Glossy / Shiny
Foliar Modification Spine (axillary)
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Spiral
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Linear)
Foliar Venation Parallel
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Typical Foliar Area Notophyll ( 20.25cm2 - 45 cm2 )
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Monocot)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Acaulescent
Root Type Underground (Fibrous Root)
Specialised Storage Organ(s) Underground (Rhizome)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual Flowers
Flower & Plant Sexuality 2 Dioecious
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White
Flowering Period Rarely
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Image Repository



Master ID 1007
Species ID 2301
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 31 May 2022.