The genus Pandanus has about 600 species that are found from West Africa eastward to Hawaii. Pandanus tectorius is a highly variable species complex that grows in coastal ecosystems from Southeast Asia eastward throughout all the Pacific islands. In addition to these naturally occurring pandanus forms, there are many traditional named varieties that have been selected and propagated by various indigenous island groups throughout the Pacific.
Pandanus is very important in Pacific culture and tradition. All parts of the plant are used, but pandanus are particularly noted for food products and weaving materials. Some locally important forms have particularly nutritious, edible fruits. Pandanus cultivation is generally non-commercial and the plants are only grown for local use.
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