Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Pandanus Parable


The Pandanus Parable

In the few weeks
that I have been away
our corner of the state
has received its entire annual rainfall
and more...

the dams are full
and the trees and plants 
are leaping greenly...

when I walked 
into the National Park 
this morning
I saw lush green
but it is not lush 
that I am going 
to tell you about today,
that is the content 
of a future post

I want to tell you 
the Pandanus Parable

When I first moved to Noosa
many moons ago
if you had told me that 
pineapples grew on trees
I would have believed you
not knowing that they grow
in straight rows 
on the ground
like cabbages

but these fruit aren't pineapple
they are the fruit 
of the Pandanus tree

A few years ago
a terrible blight,
a virus,
spread down the Sunshine Coast
attacking all the Pandanus trees
and many
like the one above
lost their limbs
and their multiple heads
And it appeared as if 
the entire population of Pandanus 
was doomed

the Pandanus 
is a gorgeous tree
with a deeply textured 
chicken poxed trunk

and sweeping sculptural limbs 
that arc out over the ocean
and the blue skies
in striking architectural form

it grows along the walking track
in the rocks

precariously clings
to rocky escarpments

and has an amazing root system
the tree throws out
aerial roots
for support
and ballast

to brace itself 
against the prevailing wind
or to hold the trunk upright
on a sloping gradient

the pineapple like fruit
are found way out
on the end of a limb

from where the seeds 
are dropped by munching birds
like the cockatoo
or nibbled on 
by the marauding brush turkey,
when the fruit has fallen
to the ground

and a new plant
will spring up 
over time

today I noticed
that the forest 
was full 
of healthy pandanus trees

the trees had regenerated 
from their ordeal
after a period of endurance
and recovery
the trees are once again flourishing

the Pandanus parable
is a story of persistence
in the face of great odds
of tenacity and resilience
of stoicism and faith
of toughing it out 
and never giving up

It is a story 
of regeneration
and new life...

It is a triumph



  1. Delywm

    I have never heard of the Pandanus Tree. What wonderful history, but my question is-can human's eat the fruit too?

    I know, I have said this before but I must say it again--I learn so much from your blog!

    The end of your post put a big smile on my face--"never giving up" and "new life." :)


    Tracy :)

  2. delwyn - thanks for the beautiful scenery and especially for the parable. there's lots to learn from trees - especially about patience and care. steven

  3. Hi Tracy...
    a good question...
    wikipedia says the fruit was a valued food source for the Micronesians, cooked or raw, and that the fibre was a great dental floss!

    I know that the bats and goannas , rats crabs, lizards and even elephants eat the softer orange segments which are called 'prudes'...

    the tips of the prop roots can also be eaten -

    the leaves are used for weaving or plaiting baskets, mats, hats, sails, fans, and shelter...

    I have seen the bush turkeys picking away at the mushy orange fruit segments that have fallen from the ripe fruits...

    Happy days

  4. Hi Steven

    there seem to be lessons all around us in the natural world...
    I actually began this story as I walked along the coastal track by thinking of the fruit being out on a limb and mused on that saying and then the sheer resilience of the species hit me and the story took on its own form...

    Happy days Steven

  5. Is it easier for trees? They carry no ballast, all their efforts go into regeneration, they do not consider pros and cons, they take their nourishment where they find it.
    In other words: they just get on with it.

    How does a mere human learn to do that?

    I scrolled down to your previous post. I love Leonard Cohen; remember his songs (and play them) from way back when and I love the new album too.

    He has given us an example of regeneration as well as poetry and music.

  6. Hi Friko

    I think you may have answered your own question by providing an example in LC.

    But of course you are right...and as complex as we are we have to learn to simplify and build resilience. One good way to build this strength is to take an inventory of the ways in which we have coped with change and adversity in the past, in so doing recognising our resources; also by developing support networks of friends, mentors, experts, and companions who have empathy for our challenges...another way is through faith of one form or another. How have you built resilience in your life?

    Happy days

  7. There are parables that leave you scratching your head, parables that are of considerable intellectual interest, parables that are just plain fun and then there are parables that, through the power of synchronicity, seem to arrive at just the right time with just the right message for you.

    For me, the Pandanus Parable was one of the latter. It arrived at just the right time with just the right message, and a wealth of wonderful photos as well.

  8. Hi Barry

    I am so glad that this little story has appealed to you tonight...and I wish that you find reserves of strength and resilience to arm yourself with as you regain your health.

    happy days Barry

  9. Our corner of the bloggosphere seems to look to trees for their wisdom and what they might teach us. I find this most encouraging.

    And to think: all these poems and all these photos, and it is, well, in my case at least, virtually paperless: no trees harmed in the production of the post!!

    I love the Pandanus parable. I love the name of that tree, too. has a **nice** ring to it. Does Australia have a Pandelwynus tree?

  10. I loved learning about this tree, which I'd never heard of before, although I've seen it in movies of Australia. It is really a fascinating tree and your parable is inspiring. Isn't is wonderful the way that nature can constantly inspire us when we allow it to do so.

  11. What an amazing tree tale and interesting photos! I have never heard of a Pandanus before. You are right: it defines persistence.

    Congratulations on your son’s marriage – lovely poem below. Chagall is one of my favorite artists.

    I tried to comment earlier but the form never opened. It seems fine now.

  12. You are at heart a teacher, a storyteller. It warms my heart.

  13. What an amazing plant the Pandanus is! Your story enchanted me! We can eat the fruits just as The Micronesians do!! Wonderful!
    I'm curious about what they taste like!

  14. I love it! I love those trees! Thank you so much for telling us about them. They are tough, resilient and I adore their trunks. How does the fruit taste?

  15. Hi Dan

    now to have a tree named after me would be a legacy to be proud of....

    I have never thought of myself as a 'tree hugger' but guess I am a tree lover...

    no paper here either...

    Happy days Dan

  16. Hi Joanna

    living and learning from the trees and flora seems as good a source as any ... there is the tree of life and the tree of knowledge...fine sources...

    Happy days

  17. Hi Sarah
    thank you for your kind wishes and comments. I enjoy noting which bloggers I have an affinity with in regards to art, books and natural pursuits...we do tend to gravitate together in little bloggy huddles...

    Happy days

  18. HiMeri
    I think that you might be's written in my genes...

    Happy days

  19. Hi Sapphire
    seeing that the turkey eats the fruit I am not game to try it...but if the islanders find it palatable I imagine I could at a pinch...

    would you like me to send you could be the official taster!

    Happy days

  20. Hi there Nancy

    well I have just asked Sapphire if she would like to do the honours and sample them for us! I am awaiting her response!!!

    Until then we will take the turkey's word for it that they are fine dining....

    Happy days

  21. Tenacity - a characteristic I appreciate. Nature seems to encourage it.


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