Basmati Plant
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Basmati Plant
P Introduced Photo: Aarti Khale
Common name: Basmati Plant, Pandan Plant, Rambha Plant, Biryani leaves Plant • Bengali: পোলাও পাতা Pulao pata • Hindi: रंपे Rampe • Malayalam: Biriyanichedi, Rambha • Oriya: ଅନ୍ନପୂର୍ନା Annapoorna • Tamil: ரம்பா Ramba
Botanical name: Pandanus amaryllifolius    Family: Pandanaceae (Screw pine family)
Synonyms: Pandanus hasskarlii, Pandanus latifolius, Pandanus odorus

Basmati Plant is a plant that is unknown in the wild, but is widely cultivated. It is an upright, green plant with fan-shaped sprays of long, narrow, blade-like leaves and woody aerial roots. The plant is sterile, with flowers only growing very rarely, and is propagated by cuttings. The leaves of the plants are widely used in flavoring food. In India, the leaf pieces are added to cooking rice, which gives it a basmati smell. The characteristic aroma of pandan is caused by the aroma compound 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, found in the lower epidermal papillae; the compound gives white bread, jasmine rice, and basmati rice. Basmati Plant is a true cultigen, and is believed to have been domesticated in ancient times. It is sterile and can only reproduce vegetatively through suckers or cuttings. It was first described from specimens from the Maluku Islands, and the rare presence of male flowers in these specimens may indicate that it is the origin of the species. However, as no other wild specimens have been found, this is still conjecture.

Identification credit: Aarti Khale Photographed in cultivation.

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