Forest EcologyGeneral SilviculturePlant Taxonomy

Santalum album L.

Spread the love

Santalum album L. Family


Santalum album L. English Name


Santalum album L. Local Name


Santalum album L.

Santalum album L. Description

This tree is the evergreen small sized or shrub tree having height of about 5 to 10m. They may live to one hundred years of age. The tree is variable in habit, usually upright to sprawling, and may intertwine with other species. The reddish or brown bark can be almost black and is smooth in young trees, becoming cracked with a red reveal. Leaves are light green, shiny, simple, estipulate and opposite and they are 4 to 9 cm long and 1.5 to 4 cm wide. The petiole is up to 12 to 18 mm long. Flowers are small and bisexual and reddish purple in colour. Single seeded Fruit is a drupe, reddish purple turning black, and it is 1 to 1.5 cm in diameter.

Santalum album L.

Santalum album L. Distribution

This plant is indigenous to the tropical belt of the Indian subcontinent (Pakistan, India and Bangladesh), eastern Indonesia and northern Australia. Sandalwood is now cultivated in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Northern Australia. They grow in dry forests of about 700 m. It is mostly found in dry deciduous and scrub forests where the vegetation type is a typical monsoon vine thicket growing on pure sand. Also found in wet forests.

Santalum album L.

Santalum album L. Uses

The bark is sometimes chewed as an alternative to betel nuts. Fruits are also edible. The wood is greatly valued for its amazing smell used in perfumes and cosmetics. The essence is distilled from the heartwood.  The wood is considered the finest wood for carving. Oil extracted from the plant is used for the itching relief. Plant also has other medicinal uses like past from the inner wood is used to make medicines for the treatment of different diseases and problems like fatigue, aches, pain during urination, diarrhoea etc. Sometimes it is grown as an ornamental and as a low-branching windbreak, whilst its leaves provide green manure.

(Xin-Hua et al., 2012; Burdock & Carabin, 2008; Askari et al. 2002)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »