MNN Galleries

16 fruits you've probably never heard of

By: Bryan Nelson on Feb. 23, 2016, 8:59 a.m.
hala tree fruit or pandanus tree fruit

Photo: jeep2499/Shutterstock

17 of 18

Hala tree fruit

The fruit from Hawaii's hala tree is very unusual looking. Inside the hard, fibrous husk are dozens or sometimes even hundreds of colorful wedges that each have seeds. The tree it comes from, called Pandanus tectorius, is actually a species of screwpine that is native to parts of Australia and the Pacific Islands.

The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked and can also be used as kind of a natural dental floss. The individual wedges are often made into necklaces or leis. The leaves are used for thatch roofs, grass skirts, mats, baskets and are said to have medicinal properties.