Back in the fourth quarter of 2009 when we began the process of "greening" the farm, Mom bought some seedlings she thought were agave plants. But when I saw the picture (see below), I thought they were not agaves but maybe were related to the pineapple family.
As much as I can, I try to identify and record the names of the plants we collect and plant in the farm. Since I could not identify the common and botanical name of these plants I couldn't add it to my list.
In 2011, the last time I visited the farm, I didn't even remember seeing these plants. In fact I've completely forgotten about them. This year however, I've been noticing them very prominent in some of the e-mailed pictures I regularly receive from my mother. How couldn't I, they're big yet look very nice.
Now that they've grown big and bushy, I remember seeing pictures of plants that look like these in the internet. They are palm-like with stout trunks and prop roots near the base. They use these roots to support the main trunk as they grow top heavy with leaves, branches and sometimes fruits. They are called "screw pines" (Pandanus spp.) or "pandanus palms" although they are not related to the palm trees.
Screw pines are dioecious, meaning they have separate male and female flowers, hence male and female plants. Only the females will produce fruits. Our pandanus are not yet mature enough to bear flowers so we may need a few more years to know their sexes.
Now I know the genus where they belong. There are several species under the Pandanus genus. It may take more hours of reading and surfing the net before I could get lucky enough to identify the species of the pandanus we have growing in the farm.
At least, now I could include this in my plant list.