Pandanus
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pandanus, Pandanus spiralis

ujnyjan (uk -)
ujnyjan (ug -)
thanka (yuku -)
kunchan (yuku -)
in Uw Oykangand
in Uw Olkola
in Pakanh
in Wika 'Aya


Pandanus spiralis

The pandanus, Pandanus spiralis (family Pandanaceae), is a tree with prickly, spined leaves arranged spirally with a large fruit like a pineapple that turns red when ripe.

The large composite edible nuts contain several wedge-shaped woody segments which must be split open to extract the edible seeds. The nuts turn deep orange-red when ripe. They can go ripe any time, especially June to October. The nut part is called egng ujnyjan in Oykangand and Olkola, mayi thanka or mayi kunchan in Pakanh. For more information on plant food and the traditional subsistence of Aboriginal people in central Cape York Peninsula, see the Edible plant products page.

The leaf fibre is stripped and used for string in weaving dillybags such as the fine-weave bag. The leaves are also used for weaving armbands and neckbands. See the Plant usage page for more information on the uses of plant products in traditional industry.

e-mail: Philip Hamilton.