What is the plant
Pisonia grandis, the grand devil's-claws, is a species of flowering tree in the Bougainvillea family, Nyctaginaceae.
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.
The leaves are traditionally used as a leaf vegetable in some countries. They were part of the traditional Maldivian cuisine in dishes such as mas huni.
Pisonia 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.
Pisonia 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 Pisonia grandis forest. The leaves are traditionally used as a leaf vegetable in some countries. They were part of the traditional Maldivian cuisine in dishes such as mas huni.
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