Pandanus tectorius Parkinson ex Zucc.
Pandanus chamissonis Gaudich.
Pandanus douglasii Gaudich.
Pandanus menziesii Gaudich.
Pandanus odoratissimus auct. non L. f.
Pandanus odoratissimus L. f. var. laevigatus Martelli
Pandanus odoratissimus L. f. var. oahuensis Martelli
Pandanus tectorius Parkinson ex Zucc. var. chamissonis (Gaudich.) B.C. Stone
Pandanus tectorius Parkinson ex Zucc. var. douglasii (Gaudich.) B.C. Stone
Pandanus tectorius Parkinson ex Zucc. var. laevigatus (Martelli) B.C. Stone
Pandanus tectorius Parkinson ex Zucc. var. menziesii (Gaudich.) B.C. Stone
Pandanus tectorius Parkinson ex Zucc. var. oahuensis (Martelli) B.C. Stone
Pandanus tectorius Parkinson ex Zucc. var. sandvicensis Warb.
Screwpine, Hala, Tahitian Screwpine
The hala is native to Malesia, eastern Australia, and the Pacific Islands.
The hala may also be native to Hawai‘i, or it may have been brought by the Polynesians. I used to call this the ”grenade tree,” because a hotel employee in Bermuda warned us that the grenade-like seedpods sometimes explode when they dry out, shredding the leaves and anything else nearby. I can’t find any evidence to support this though; he conned us. Still a cool name though.
Identification: This tree reaches 30-45' (9.1-13 m) in height. Its spiny trunk branches widely into a canopy as much as 35' (10 m) in diameter. Leaves are long, narrow, and sharp—up to 24" (60 cm) long and 2" (5 cm) wide. Most varieties have spines along the edges and midribs of the leaves. The “grenades” are round or oval, consisting of multiple segments called carpels. These fruits turn yellow, orange or reddish as they ripen.
Pandanus tectorius on Forest and Kim Starr’s Starr Environmental site
Pandanus tectorius at the University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Hawaiian Native Plant Propagation Database
Pandanus tectorius on Wikipedia
Pandanus tectorius on www.agroforestry.net (PDF)
Pandanus tectorius at the National Tropical Botanical Garden
Pandanus tectorius on Dan Lee Ling’s Botany Pages at the College of Micronesia
Pandanus tectorius description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.