Pandanus amaryllifolius

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Pandanus amaryllifolius
Pandan Leaf (Pandanus amaryllifolius) 1.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Pandanales
Family: Pandanaceae
Genus: Pandanus
P. amaryllifolius
Binomial name
Pandanus amaryllifolius
  • Pandanus hasskarlii Merr.
  • Pandanus latifolius Hassk. nom. illeg.
  • Pandanus odorus Ridl.

Pandanus amaryllifolius is a tropical plant in the Pandanus (screwpine) genus, which is commonly known as pandan (/ˈpændən/). It has fragrant leaves which are used widely for flavouring in the cuisines of Southeast Asia and South Asia.

Occurrence and habitat[edit]

Pandanus amaryllifolius is a true cultigen, and is believed to have been domesticated in ancient times. It is sterile and can only reproduce vegetatively through suckers or cuttings. It was first described from specimens from the Maluku Islands, and the rare presence of male flowers in these specimens may indicate that it is the origin of the species. However, as no other wild specimens have been found, this is still conjecture. The plant is grown widely throughout Southeast Asia. It has also been introduced to South Asia via Indonesia, where they are grown extensively, though South Asian populations have low genetic diversity.[2][3][4]

Botanical features[edit]

The characteristic aroma of pandan is caused by the aroma compound 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, found in the lower epidermal papillae[5]; the compound gives white bread, jasmine rice, and basmati rice (as well as bread flowers Vallaris glabra) their typical smell.[6] Though the plant is unknown in the wild, it is widely cultivated. It is an upright, green plant with fan-shaped sprays of long, narrow, blade-like leaves and woody aerial roots. The plant is sterile, with flowers only growing very rarely, and is propagated by cuttings.[citation needed]

Culinary use[edit]

Pandan cake, a light, soft and fluffy chiffon cake uses pandan leaf as green colouring and flavouring agent.

In Indonesian it is commonly called pandan or pandan wangi (fragrant pandan). The green juice acquired from its leaf is used extensively in Indonesian cuisine as green food colouring and flavouring agents that gave pleasant aroma for kue, a tapioca, flour or glutinous rice-based traditional cakes; including klepon, kue putu, dadar gulung, lapis legit, and pandan cake. The tied knot of bruised pandan leaf is also added into fragrant coconut rice to enhance the aroma, such as in nasi uduk and nasi liwet.[7]

In Sri Lanka, it is called rampé and it is grown almost in every household. Most of the Sri Lankan dishes use these leaves for aroma along with curry leaves. In India it is called annapurna leaves[8]; in Bangladesh, it is called pulao pata (পোলাও পাতা ); and in the Maldives, it is called ran’baa along with the other variety of pandan there (Pandanus fascicularis), and is used to enhance the flavor of pulao, biryani, and sweet coconut rice pudding, or payesh if basmati rice is not used. It acts as a cheap substitute for basmati fragrance, as one can use normal, nonfragrant rice and with pandan the dish tastes and smells like basmati is used. The leaves are used either fresh or dried, and are commercially available in frozen form in Asian grocery stores of nations where the plant does not grow. They have a nutty, botanical fragrance that is used as a flavor enhancer in many Asian cuisines, especially in rice dishes, desserts, and cakes.[9]

The leaves are sometimes steeped in coconut milk, which is then added to the dish. They may be tied in a bunch and cooked with the food. They may be woven into a basket which is used as a pot for cooking rice. Pandan chicken, (Thai: ไก่ห่อใบเตย, kai ho bai toei), is a dish of chicken parts wrapped in pandan leaves and fried. The leaves are also used as a flavoring for desserts such as pandan cake and sweet beverages. Filipino cuisine uses pandan as a flavoring in some coconut milk-based dishes as well as desserts like buko pandan.[10] It is also used widely in rice-based pastries such as suman and numerous sweet drinks and desserts.[11]

Bottled pandan extract is available in shops, and often contains green food coloring.

Use in traditional medicine[edit]

P. amaryllifolius leaves have a number of local medicinal uses. Leaf extracts have been thought to reduce fever, relieve indigestion and flatulence, and act as a cardiotonic.[12][qualify evidence]

The leaves are used in perfume industry and also medicinally important as diuretic, anti-diabetic and for skin diseases.[13] Leaves are soaked in coconut oil for several days and the oil is then used for rheumatic problems. Infusion of leaves is taken internally as a sedative in restlessness. In Thailand, this is a traditional medicine for treating diabetes.[14] Studies have established significant repellent activity of P. amaryllifolius against American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana L.)[15], but similar effects against other species of cockroaches have not yet been looked into. P. amaryllifolius has the secondary benefit of adding visual and olfactory pleasure to humans. Traditionally, leaves are used as medicinal bath for women after childbirth in Malaysia and also for hair wash. It is also used for preparing lotion along with ash and vinegar to treat measles, as purgative, in the treatment of leprosy, sore throat and as diuretic in Philippines.[16] In addition, leaf extract has been reported to possess antioxidant properties.[17] [18]Traditionally a mixture of Henna (Lawsonia inermis), Limau purut ([[Citrus hystrix]]), coconut milk, milk and P. amaryllifolius leaf are used to clean hair and to provide fragrance.[19] The leaves are used as food flavouring and in traditional medicine in the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia.[20] Hot water extracts of the root of this plant (reported as P. odorus Ridl.) show hypoglycaemic activity, and 4-hydroxybenzoic acid has been isolated as the active principle.[21][22][23] Some suggest that P. amaryllifolius essence can be a possible substitute to vanilla essence.[24]

Use as natural air freshener[edit]

The leaves possess a pleasant aroma and can be used as natural air fresheners.[25] In Thailand, cab drivers sometimes use pandan for this purpose.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved 29 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Pandanus amaryllifolius – The only Pandanus with fragrant leaves". Tropical Biodiversity. 12 January 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  3. ^ Wakte, Kantilal V.; Nadaf, Altafhusain B; Thengane, Ratnakar J.; Jawali, Narendra (2009). "Pandanus amaryllifolius Roxb. cultivated as a spice in coastal regions of India". Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. 56 (5): 735–740. doi:10.1007/s10722-009-9431-5.
  4. ^ Stone, BC (1978). "Studies in Malesian Pandanaceae XVII. On the taxonomy of 'Pandan Wangi' — a Pandanus cultivar with scented leaves". Econ Bot. 32 (3): 285–293. doi:10.1007/BF02864702.
  5. ^ Wakte, Kantilal V.; Nadaf, Altafhusain B.; Thengane, Ratnakar J.; Jawali, Narendra (2009). "Pandanus amaryllifolius Roxb. cultivated as a spice in coastal regions of India". Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. 56 (5): 735–740. doi:10.1007/s10722-009-9431-5. ISSN 0925-9864.
  6. ^ Wongpornchai, S.; Sriseadka, T. & Choonvisase, S. (2003). "Identification and quantitation of the rice aroma compound, 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, in bread flowers (Vallaris glabra Ktze)". J. Agric. Food Chem. 51 (2): 457–462. doi:10.1021/jf025856x. PMID 12517110.
  7. ^ "Pandan Leaf". The Epicentre. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Sukphisit, Suthon (9 December 2018). "Reading the leaves". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  10. ^ "Buko Pandan Salad Recipe". Pinoy Recipe At Iba Pa. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
  11. ^ IJsselstein. "Lyn's Recipes Corner". Buko Pandan Salad. Jeroen Hellingman. Archived from the original on 26 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  12. ^ N., Cheeptham; G.H.N., Towers (2002). "Light-mediated activities of some Thai medicinal plant teas". Fitoterapia. 73 (7–8): 651–662. doi:10.1016/S0367-326X(02)00224-1. PMID 12490225. Archived from the original on 18 July 2017. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  13. ^ Keller J (2001) Pandanaceae. In: Hanelt P, Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (eds) Mansfeld’s encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural crops, vol 5. Springer, Berlin, pp 2816–2824
  14. ^ Ravindran, PN; Balachandran, I (2005). "Underutilized medicinal species—III". Spice India. 18 (2): 16–24.
  15. ^ Ahmad, FBH; Mackeen, MM; Ali, AM; Mashirun, SR; Yaacob, MM (1995). "Repellency of essential oils against the domiciliary cockroach, Periplaneta americana L.". Insect Sci Appl. 16 (3–4): 391–393. doi:10.1017/s174275840001746x.
  16. ^ Samy J, Sugumaran M, Kate LWL (2005) Herbs of Malaysia: an introduction to the medicinal, culinary, aromatic and cosmetic use of herbs. Federal Publications, Times Editions–Marshall Cavendish, Malaysia, pp 180–181
  17. ^ Jiang J (1999) Volatile composition of pandan leaves (Pandanus amaryllifolius). In: Shadidi F, Ho CT (eds) Flavour chemistry of ethnic foods. Kluwer, New York, pp 105–109
  18. ^ Thimmaraju, R; Bhagyalakshmi, N; Narayan, MS; Venkatachalam, L; Ravishankar, GA (2005). "In vitro culture ofPandanus amaryllifolius and enhancement of 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, the major flavouring compound of aromatic rice, by precursor feeding ofL-proline". Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 85 (15): 2527–2534. doi:10.1002/jsfa.2286. ISSN 0022-5142.
  19. ^ Turner, I (2007). "Plants for your hair-Henna and company". Gardenwise, The Newsletter of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. 28: 36.
  20. ^ Salim, AA; Garson, MJ; Craik, DJ (2004). "New alkaloids from Pandanus amaryllifolius". J Nat Prod. 67 (1): 54–57. doi:10.1021/np0303310.
  21. ^ Peungvicha, P; Thirawarapan, SS; Watanabe, H (1996). "Hypoglycemic effect of the water extract of the root of Pandanus odorus Ridl". Biol Pharm Bull. 19: 364–366. doi:10.1248/bpb.19.364.
  22. ^ Peungvicha, P; Temsiririrkkul, R; Prasain, JK; Tezuka, Y; Kadota, S; Thirawarapan, SS; Watanabe, H (1998a). "4-Hydroxybenzoic acid: a hypoglycemic constituent of aqueous extract of Pandanus odorus root". J Ethnopharmacol. 62: 79–84. doi:10.1016/s0378-8741(98)00061-0.
  23. ^ Peungvicha, P; Thirawarapan, SS; Watanabe, H (1998b). "4-Hydroxybenzoic acid: a hypoglycemic constituent of aqueous extract of Pandanus odorus root II". Jpn J Pharmacol. 78: 395–398. doi:10.1254/jjp.78.395.
  24. ^ Wyk BEV (2005) Food plants of the world: identification, culinary uses and nutritional value. Times Editions–Marshall Cavendish, Singapore, p 275
  25. ^ Simmons, Holley. "This tropical plant gives foods a nutty flavor — and surprising color". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 8 January 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  26. ^ "All You Need to Know About Pandan". Michelin Guide. Michelin. Archived from the original on 8 January 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2019.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]