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Useful Tropical Plants

Santalum freycinetianum

Gaudich.

Santalaceae

+ Synonyms

Common Name: Lanai Sandalwood

Santalum freycinetianum
Trees growing in native habitat
Photograph by: Forest and Kim Starr
Creative Commons License
Santalum freycinetianum Santalum freycinetianum Santalum freycinetianum Santalum freycinetianum

General Information

Lanai sandalwood is an evergreen shrub to medium-sized tree, most commonly growing from 1 - 9 metres tall but with specimens up to 25 metres recorded. The canopy can be almost as wide as the tree is tall. The bole is usually 25 - 30cm in diameter, but exceptionally up to 90cm[
312
Title
Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands
Publication
 
Author
Elevitch. Craig. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii
Year
2006
ISBN
0970254458
Description
Beautifully produced book with superb photos and detailed information on over 50 species of useful plants of the Pacific Islands.
,
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
,
509
Title
The Indiginous Trees of the Hawaiian Islands
Publication
 
Author
Rock J.F.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
 
Year
1913
ISBN
 
Description
A guide to the trees and forests of Hawaii. Rather dated, but a good work. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. A root hemi-parasite, it obtains water and nutrients from host plants growing close by and does not grow well in the absence of a host[
312
Title
Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands
Publication
 
Author
Elevitch. Craig. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii
Year
2006
ISBN
0970254458
Description
Beautifully produced book with superb photos and detailed information on over 50 species of useful plants of the Pacific Islands.
].
A valuable aromatic wood and a high quality essential oil are obtained from the wood. The trees were widely exploited in the early 19th century, greatly reducing their population. Although they have partially recovered, relatively few large trees are found and the distribution is more restricted than it was[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].
In the Hawaiian Islands, during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the aromatic lower trunks and rootstock of native Sandalwood species were harvested in great quantity and shipped to China, where they were used to make incense, fine furniture, and other desirable products. The trees were harvested almost to extinction. This extensive and often exploitative sandalwood trade in Hawaii was an early economic activity that adversely affected both the natural environment and the human population. Indeed, this activity represented an early shift from a subsistence to a commercial economy in Hawaii that was to have far­reaching and long­lasting effects in the islands[
312
Title
Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands
Publication
 
Author
Elevitch. Craig. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii
Year
2006
ISBN
0970254458
Description
Beautifully produced book with superb photos and detailed information on over 50 species of useful plants of the Pacific Islands.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

509
Title
The Indiginous Trees of the Hawaiian Islands
Publication
 
Author
Rock J.F.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
 
Year
1913
ISBN
 
Description
A guide to the trees and forests of Hawaii. Rather dated, but a good work. It can be downloaded from the Internet.

Range

Pacific - Hawaii.

Habitat

Exposed, open grasslands on old lava flows in the dryer regions of Hawaii at elevations of 600 metres or more[
509
Title
The Indiginous Trees of the Hawaiian Islands
Publication
 
Author
Rock J.F.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
 
Year
1913
ISBN
 
Description
A guide to the trees and forests of Hawaii. Rather dated, but a good work. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. Most often found on slopes and ridges, it can be locally common in dry, mesic, and wet forests[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height10.00 m
Growth RateSlow
PollinatorsBees, Insects
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

A plant usually of moderate elevations in the tropics, usually found between 250 and 950 metres, but it can be found down to almost sea level and up to 3,800 metres[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
]. It grows naturally in areas where the mean annual rainfall is in the range 500 - 3,800mm and there is a pronounced dry season of 2 - 5 months[
312
Title
Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands
Publication
 
Author
Elevitch. Craig. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii
Year
2006
ISBN
0970254458
Description
Beautifully produced book with superb photos and detailed information on over 50 species of useful plants of the Pacific Islands.
,
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].
Prefers a position with moderate side shade, but little overhead shade; it grows poorly in deeper shade, but can do well in full sun if attached to a suitable host[
312
Title
Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands
Publication
 
Author
Elevitch. Craig. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii
Year
2006
ISBN
0970254458
Description
Beautifully produced book with superb photos and detailed information on over 50 species of useful plants of the Pacific Islands.
]. Tolerant of a range of soil conditions, including infertile and shallow soils, but grows best in a light to medium, well-drained soil[
312
Title
Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands
Publication
 
Author
Elevitch. Craig. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii
Year
2006
ISBN
0970254458
Description
Beautifully produced book with superb photos and detailed information on over 50 species of useful plants of the Pacific Islands.
]. The plant grows in the wild on a range of volcanic soils, but does not become established on poorly drained sites[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
]. Prefers a neutral to slightly alkaline soil with a pH 6.1 - 7.4, but can tolerate 4 - 7.4[
312
Title
Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands
Publication
 
Author
Elevitch. Craig. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii
Year
2006
ISBN
0970254458
Description
Beautifully produced book with superb photos and detailed information on over 50 species of useful plants of the Pacific Islands.
]. Established plants are able to survive a long dry season (up to 5 - 6 months) when attached parasitically to suitably drought­tolerant host plants[
312
Title
Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands
Publication
 
Author
Elevitch. Craig. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii
Year
2006
ISBN
0970254458
Description
Beautifully produced book with superb photos and detailed information on over 50 species of useful plants of the Pacific Islands.
].
Although the tree has become much less common in its native habitat due to the ravages of introduced grazing animals and rats, the tree does actually have the potential to become invasive, spreading by seeds and root suckers. However, this has not been seen as a problem in the past, mainly due to the high value of the wood and the ease with which they can be shaded out by taller trees[
312
Title
Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands
Publication
 
Author
Elevitch. Craig. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii
Year
2006
ISBN
0970254458
Description
Beautifully produced book with superb photos and detailed information on over 50 species of useful plants of the Pacific Islands.
].
A slow-growing species, showing annual height increases of 30 - 70cm a year when young. Growth is faster in fertile soils but the tree is then at risk of being shaded out or overtopped by taller, faster growing trees on such sites[
312
Title
Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands
Publication
 
Author
Elevitch. Craig. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii
Year
2006
ISBN
0970254458
Description
Beautifully produced book with superb photos and detailed information on over 50 species of useful plants of the Pacific Islands.
].
Under good conditions, plants begin flowering from an early age, typically about 3 - 4 years, but heavy flowering and
fruiting may take 7 - 10 years[
312
Title
Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands
Publication
 
Author
Elevitch. Craig. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii
Year
2006
ISBN
0970254458
Description
Beautifully produced book with superb photos and detailed information on over 50 species of useful plants of the Pacific Islands.
].
Trees can flower and produce fruit throughout the year, usually with two peaks. The flowers produce a weak fragrance[
312
Title
Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands
Publication
 
Author
Elevitch. Craig. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii
Year
2006
ISBN
0970254458
Description
Beautifully produced book with superb photos and detailed information on over 50 species of useful plants of the Pacific Islands.
].
Trees produce root suckers, especially if cut down, when a ring of suckers will often appear several metres away from the original stump[
312
Title
Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands
Publication
 
Author
Elevitch. Craig. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii
Year
2006
ISBN
0970254458
Description
Beautifully produced book with superb photos and detailed information on over 50 species of useful plants of the Pacific Islands.
].
A semi-parasitic plant, obtaining some of its nutriment from the roots of other plants[
144
Title
Wild Food in Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Cribb. A. B. and J. W.
Publisher
Fontana
Year
1976
ISBN
0-00-634436-4
Description
A very good pocket guide.
]. The plant has green leaves containing chlorophyll, and is thus able to photosynthesize - it relies on host plants only for water and soil nutrients, not for sugars, which it can produce itself [
343
Title
Growing Native Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of articles giving details of cultivation and matters of general interest (including a few plant uses) on over 250 Australian plants.
]. In a natural situation, the plant seems to rely on nitrogen fixing trees such as Acacia and Casuarina, though it is known to parasitize many other legumes, shrubs, herbs and grasses[
343
Title
Growing Native Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of articles giving details of cultivation and matters of general interest (including a few plant uses) on over 250 Australian plants.
]. It normally has more than one host at a time[
343
Title
Growing Native Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of articles giving details of cultivation and matters of general interest (including a few plant uses) on over 250 Australian plants.
].
In the field, seedlings should be planted near potential host plants[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
]. Seedlings are generally planted within existing vegetation near potentially suitable hosts; the best host may be Acacia koa[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
]. Success is generally good, especially in locations where seedlings can be watered occasionally and weed competition is controlled[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].
Periodic trimming of the secondary host may benefit seedlings[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].

Edible Uses

Seed - tasty[
312
Title
Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands
Publication
 
Author
Elevitch. Craig. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii
Year
2006
ISBN
0970254458
Description
Beautifully produced book with superb photos and detailed information on over 50 species of useful plants of the Pacific Islands.
]. The scarcity of seeds, and their high value for propagation, makes their use as food somewhat inappropriate[
312
Title
Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands
Publication
 
Author
Elevitch. Craig. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii
Year
2006
ISBN
0970254458
Description
Beautifully produced book with superb photos and detailed information on over 50 species of useful plants of the Pacific Islands.
].

Medicinal

A drink made from finely ground powdered heartwood, mixed with other plants, followed by laxative was used in curing venereal diseases in both males and females[
312
Title
Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands
Publication
 
Author
Elevitch. Craig. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii
Year
2006
ISBN
0970254458
Description
Beautifully produced book with superb photos and detailed information on over 50 species of useful plants of the Pacific Islands.
]. The powdered heartwood is combined with Piper methysticum, Eugenia reinwardtiana, Bobea species and Alphitonia ponderosa[
417
Title
Hawaiian Ethnobotany Online Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www2.bishopmuseum.org/ethnobotanydb/index.asp
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Brief details on over 100 species of Hawaiian plants.
].
For treating severe sores, the powdered wood is combined with the wood of Melicope hawaiensis and Bobea species, combined with Piper methysticum and the bark of Syzygium malaccense[
417
Title
Hawaiian Ethnobotany Online Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www2.bishopmuseum.org/ethnobotanydb/index.asp
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Brief details on over 100 species of Hawaiian plants.
].

A shampoo made from a leaf infusion, sometimes combined with the ashes of Myoporum sandwicense, has been used for curing dandruff and eliminating head lice[
312
Title
Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands
Publication
 
Author
Elevitch. Craig. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii
Year
2006
ISBN
0970254458
Description
Beautifully produced book with superb photos and detailed information on over 50 species of useful plants of the Pacific Islands.
].

Other Uses

A high quality essential oil is obtained from the heartwood. This oil was traditionally used to a limited extent to scent coconut oil (for application to the hair and body) and cultural artifacts such as tapa cloth. Today, the oil is highly valued for use in perfumery, cosmetics, incense sticks, aromatherapy etc[
312
Title
Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands
Publication
 
Author
Elevitch. Craig. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii
Year
2006
ISBN
0970254458
Description
Beautifully produced book with superb photos and detailed information on over 50 species of useful plants of the Pacific Islands.
,
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
,
509
Title
The Indiginous Trees of the Hawaiian Islands
Publication
 
Author
Rock J.F.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
 
Year
1913
ISBN
 
Description
A guide to the trees and forests of Hawaii. Rather dated, but a good work. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

A mixture of heartwood and sapwood is powdered and made into incense or joss sticks which are used in eastern religious ceremonies. Sawdust, wood shavings from carving, or wood residue after oil distillation may be used[
312
Title
Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands
Publication
 
Author
Elevitch. Craig. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii
Year
2006
ISBN
0970254458
Description
Beautifully produced book with superb photos and detailed information on over 50 species of useful plants of the Pacific Islands.
].

The yellow-brown wood is hard, heavy and fine textured[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
]. The highest value sandalwood is used for carving religious statues and objects, handicrafts, art, and decorative furniture. Larger basal pieces and roots are preferred for carving. In Hawaii, sandalwood is sometimes used to make musical instruments such as the musical bow (‘ūkēkē)[
312
Title
Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands
Publication
 
Author
Elevitch. Craig. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii
Year
2006
ISBN
0970254458
Description
Beautifully produced book with superb photos and detailed information on over 50 species of useful plants of the Pacific Islands.
,
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].
The wood has sometimes been used for fuel, but does not make a useful charcoal[
312
Title
Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands
Publication
 
Author
Elevitch. Craig. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii
Year
2006
ISBN
0970254458
Description
Beautifully produced book with superb photos and detailed information on over 50 species of useful plants of the Pacific Islands.
]. The wood has usually been added in small amounts to a fire for its aromatic scent and as a mosquito repellent[
312
Title
Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands
Publication
 
Author
Elevitch. Craig. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii
Year
2006
ISBN
0970254458
Description
Beautifully produced book with superb photos and detailed information on over 50 species of useful plants of the Pacific Islands.
].
The wood is rarely used for traditional purposes nowadays because of its scarcity and its very high cash value. However, it has been used for making canoe paddles, carvings, cultural purposes, medicine, and was burnt as an insect repellent[
312
Title
Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands
Publication
 
Author
Elevitch. Craig. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii
Year
2006
ISBN
0970254458
Description
Beautifully produced book with superb photos and detailed information on over 50 species of useful plants of the Pacific Islands.
]. The heartwood was powdered and used to scent coconut oil, or sprinkled over new tapa cloth to perfume it and make it waterproof[
312
Title
Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands
Publication
 
Author
Elevitch. Craig. R. (Editor)
Publisher
Permanent Agriculture Resources, Hawaii
Year
2006
ISBN
0970254458
Description
Beautifully produced book with superb photos and detailed information on over 50 species of useful plants of the Pacific Islands.
].

Propagation

Seed - because untreated seeds may take from several months to well over 1 year to germinate, seed pre-treatment is recommended[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
]. Pre-soaking in water for 3 - 5 days helps; however, complete removal of the seedcoat, soaking for 8 to 12 hours in 0.05 to 0.1 percent gibberellic acid, manual scarification followed by soaking in water, or acid scarification are reportedly more effective[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
]. Full light has been shown to enhance germination of S. Album, but no information on the light requirements of S. Freycinetianum is available[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].
Seed should be sowed in a sterile media such as vermiculite, well-drained potting mix, or sterilized sand-soil mixture.
Optimal temperature for germination of some sandalwoods appears to be about 25°c, and one effective technique involves bottom-heating germination beds to maintain the temperature at this optimal level[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].
Seedlings should be kept in partial shade (30 - 50 percent). When they reach the four-leaf stage, they can be transplanted into containers and a primary host plant may also be transplanted into the pot. Potential host plants include native Hawaiian species such as Acacia koa, A. Koaia, or Dodonaea viscosa, or non-native species such as Leucaena luecocephala[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
]. Seedlings reach adequate size for planting out about 8 - 9 months after transplanting[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].
Seeds can be stored in a dry, cool location or dried to approximately 8 percent moisture content and refrigerated at about 5 °c. Sandalwoods can be successfully stored under refrigeration for several years[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].

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