Characteristics of Buah Merah / Kuansu (Pandanus conoideus) in the Wild

Pandanus conoideus
Buah merah (Pandanus conoideus) is a tree species that produces red fruit and is considered as the identity fruit of Papua. For the people of Wamena, Papua, this fruit is called Kuansu.

For people in Wamena, Buah merah is served as food at the traditional stone-baked party. However, many also use it as medicine. Traditionally, Buah merah from ancient times has been consumed for generations because it is believed to be able to cure various diseases such as preventing eye diseases, intestinal worms, skin, and increasing stamina.

Cultivation of Buah merah trees was pioneered by a local resident, Nicolaas Maniagasi, in 1983, and for his efforts, he was awarded the 2002 Kehati Award for the environment.


The research on the medicinal properties of Buah merah was first conducted by a lecturer at the University of Cendrawasih (UNCEN) in Jayapura, namely Drs. I Made Budi M.S. as a nutritionist and lecturer at the University of Cendrawasih (UNCEN) had time to carefully observe the habits of traditional people in Wamena, Timika, and villages in the mountainous area of ​​Jayawijaya who eat Buah merah. Researchers have observed that local people have more muscular bodies and have high stamina, even though their daily lives are limited and open to dressing in harsh natural conditions and sometimes the weather is quite cold in the high mountains. Another physical feature of the population is that they are rarely affected by degenerative diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc.

By examining the nutritional composition, it turns out that the Buah merah contains a lot of antioxidants (average content):

  • Carotene (12,000 ppm)
  • Beta-carotene (700 ppm)
  • Tocopherol (11,000 ppm)

In addition to several substances that increase endurance, other substances are also contained including oleic acid, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, decanoic acid, Omega 3, and Omega 9 which are all active compounds that prevent the formation of free radicals in the body.


Characteristics of Buah Merah Leaf

Pandanus conoideus Leaf

The leaves are similar to Pandan but have a longer and larger size.


Characteristics of Buah Merah

Pandanus conoideus Fruit

The fruit is oval in shape with buds covered with fruit leaves. The Buah merah itself has a length of between 50-60 cm, a diameter of 10-15 cm, and a weight of 2-3 kg. The color is bright maroon when ripe (hence the name Buah merah), although in fact there are types of this plant that bear brown and yellowish-brown fruit.


Characteristics of Buah Merah Tree

Pandanus conoideus Tree

The Buah merah belongs to the pandanus family with the shape of a tree resembling Pandan, but the height of this tree can reach 16 meters with a branch-free trunk as high as 5-8 meters and is strengthened by root roots that appear on the rootstock.

This tree grows a lot in Jayapura, Manokwari, Nabire, and Wamena.


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