Pandan is an upright, green plant that grows to about 1m (3ft) in height with fan-shaped sprays of long, narrow leaves and woody aerial roots. The plant is sterile, flowers only very rarely and can be propagated through suckers (side shoots of underground runners) or root stumps. Pandan can be grown in all types of soils with high water content and plenty of direct sunlight.

Although it is rare to find pandan in the wild, it is widely cultivated in Malaysia and SE Asia for its leaves which are used to flavour and color rice, jellies, desserts and drinks. Pandan leaves can be used around the house as a natural cockroach repellent or wrapped in charcoal and left in the refrigerator to remove stubborn smells.