Pandanus tectorius is a small, often multi-stemmed, evergreen tree with conspicuous prop roots and prickly stems.
It usually grows around 3 – 7 metres tall, occasionally to 14 metres.
Sword-like leaves that can be 1 metre long grow in clusters at the top of the tree and ends of branches.
It is found in areas where the mean annual temperature ranges from 24 – 28°c, the mean temperature of the hottest month is 28 – 36°c and that of the coldest month is 17 – 25°c, though one report says that it can tolerate occasional temperatures down to almost freezing.
Mean annual rainfall varies from 1,500 – 4,000mm, with no dry season or a short dry season of 2 – 3 months.
Succeeds in sun or partial shade, preferring a moist but well-drained soil in a sunny position.
It is adapted to an extraordinarily wide range of light to heavytextured soil types, including brackish/saline soils, lightcoloured, infertile coralline atoll sands, alkaline sands, thin soils over limestone, and peaty swamps.
Grows well in sandy soils.
Does well in poor or highly alkaline soils.