Pisonia grandis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Pisonia grandis
Starr 990611-0869 Pisonia grandis.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Nyctaginaceae
Genus: Pisonia
P. grandis
Binomial name
Pisonia grandis

Pisonia viscosa Balf.f.

Pisonia grandis growing in an urban park in Malaysia.

Pisonia grandis, the grand devil's-claws,[1] is a species of flowering tree in the Bougainvillea family, Nyctaginaceae.


The tree has broad, thin leaves, smooth bark and bears clusters of green sweet-smelling flowers that mature into sticky barbed seeds.

Dispersal occurs when seeds stick to bird feathers. Vegetative reproduction frequently results when fallen branches sprout or basal shoots develop into new trees.


Pisonia trees are distributed throughout the coral cays of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The species often dominates mature coral cay vegetation, growing in dense, thick strands up to 20 m (66 ft) tall. Pisonia wood is rather weak and soft and decays rapidly when the trees fall.

Pisonia forests are a common nesting site for seabirds. One of the best remaining Pisonia forests can be found on Palmyra Atoll.

St. Pierre Island, Farquhar Group, was once covered by a Pisonia grandis forest. This forest disappeared after guano mining between 1906 and 1972. The natural vegetation had to be destroyed in order to scrape the guano and the island's landscape became barren.[2]


The leaves are traditionally used as a leaf vegetable in some countries.[3] They were part of the traditional Maldivian cuisine in dishes such as mas huni.[4]


  1. ^ "Pisonia grandis". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  2. ^ Piggott, C.J. (1961): Notes on some of the Seychelles Islands, Indian Ocean. Atoll Research Bulletin 83: 1-10. PDF fulltext Archived 2006-09-13 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Capricornia Cuisine: Bush Tucker in Central Queensland
  4. ^ Xavier Romero-Frias, The Maldive Islanders, A Study of the Popular Culture of an Ancient Ocean Kingdom, Barcelona 1999, ISBN 84-7254-801-5

External links[edit]