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Pisonia grandis

Pisonia grandis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Nyctaginaceae
Genus: Pisona
Species: P. gandis
Binomial name
Pisona gandis

Pisona viscosa Balf.f.

Pisona gandis, grand devil's-claws,[1] is a species of flowering tree in the Bougainvillea family, Nyctaginaceae.


  • Description 1
  • Distribution 2
  • Uses 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The tree has broad, thin leaves, smooth bark and bears clusters of green sweet-smelling flowers that mature into sticky barbed seeds.

Dispersal occurs when seeds stick to bird feathers. Vegetative reproduction frequently results when fallen branches sprout or basal shoots develop into new trees.


Pisona trees are distributed throughout the coral cays of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The species often dominates mature coral cay vegetation, growing in dense, thick strands up to 20 m (66 ft) tall. Pisonia wood is rather weak and soft and decays rapidly when the trees fall.

Pisona forests are a common nesting site for seabirds. One of the best remaining Pisonia forests can be found on Palmyra Atoll.

St. Pierre Island, Farquhar Group, was once covered by a Pisona gandis forest. This forest disappeared after guano mining between 1906 and 1972. The natural vegetation had to be destroyed in order to scrape the guano and the island's landscape became barren.[2]


The leaves are traditionally used as a leaf vegetable in some countries.[3] They were part of the traditional Maldivian cuisine in dishes such as mas huni.[4]


  1. ^ "Pisonia grandis".  
  2. ^ Piggott, C.J. (1961): Notes on some of the Seychelles Islands, Indian Ocean. Atoll Research Bulletin 83: 1-10. PDF fulltext
  3. ^ Capricornia Cuisine: Bush Tucker in Central Queensland
  4. ^ Xavier Romero-Frias, The Maldive Islanders, A Study of the Popular Culture of an Ancient Ocean Kingdom, Barcelona 1999, ISBN 84-7254-801-5

External links

  • P. grandisNature Seychelles - Seabird deaths caused by . Accessed 11 May 2007.
  • Eating on the Islands - As times have changed, so has the Maldives' unique cuisine and culture
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