I grow a smooth leafed pandanus with narrow leaves. Not obviously aromatic like the ones at asian grocers. Doesn't seem to grow a trunk or stem. Just keeps getting bushier. Sound familiar?
Yes! Definitely has the screw pine growth habit but not so long trunk as pictured - that I can see. Been in the ground for more than six years. Holds onto it's dead leaves underneath so I will have to fossick and have a closer look. What if I take a photo and upload here?
So is this the culinary pandanus or not?
As far as I'm aware, and I could be wrong, this giant pandanus is grown for its leaves, which are not eaten but used as wrapping, like banana or bamboo leaves, in some Southeast Asian recipes.
The P. amaryllifolius is the only species in the Pandanus genus that I would consider culinary. However, the P. tectorius (or pandan tree, but sometimes called fragrant screw pine, which is another common name for amaryllifolius - talk about confusing) is used by other cultures for herbal and/or cooking purposes.
A photo would be helpful.