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Useful Tropical Plants

Santalum spicatum

(R.Br.) A.DC.

Santalaceae

+ Synonyms

Eucarya spicata (R.Br.) Sprague & Summerh

Fusanus spicatus R.Br.

Common Name: West Australian Sandalwood

Santalum spicatum
Tree growing in native habitat
Photograph by: Fagg, M.
Image credit to Australian National Botanic Gardens
Santalum spicatum Santalum spicatum Santalum spicatum Santalum spicatum

General Information

West Australian sandalwood is an erect shrub or small tree with an open crown; it can grow 3 - 8 metres tall. It has a tough grey bark and stiff spreading branches[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. Its bole is 10 - 30cm in diameter[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. 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.
].
The tree is harvested, mainly from the wild, for its valuable wood, which is the source of an essential oil.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

285
Title
Florabase
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://florabase.calm.wa.gov.au/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database of Western Australian plants

Range

Australia - Western Australia.

Habitat

Occurs in a wide range of forest types from woodland to low open-woodlands[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Loamy soils and among rocks in woodland and tall shrubland[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. Red sandy soils, among rocks[
285
Title
Florabase
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://florabase.calm.wa.gov.au/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database of Western Australian plants
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *  *
HabitShrub
Height4.00 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

A plant of drier, lowland areas in the tropics and subtropics, where it is found at elevations from sea level to 500 metres[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 32 - 38°c, but can tolerate 7 - 45°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. When dormant, the plant can survive temperatures down to about -4°c, but young growth can be severely damaged at 0°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 200 - 400mm, but tolerates 150 - 500mm[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Prefers a sunny position, but can tolerate some shade[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Succeeds on a variety of soils from calcareous red earths to red earthy sands in Western Australia to solonized brown soils and shallow calcareous loamy soils in South Australia[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Tolerates soil salinity[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 6.5, tolerating 5 - 7[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. Requires a well drained soil[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
The plant is partially parasitic and relies on host plants for only water and soil nutrients, not for sugars, which is why such it has green leaves and photosynthesizes[
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.
]. Sandalwood trees are a root parasite on many species[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Some common recognized hosts are Eucalyptus salubris, Eucalyptus loxophleba, Casuarina cristata subsp. Pauper, Acacia aneura, Atriplex vesicaria, Pittosporum phillyreoides, Acacia acuminata, Senna siamea and Pongamia pinnata[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. 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.
].
Flowering is sporadic because of the irregular rainfall in most areas where the plant grows. Flowers are carrion-scented and nectariferous, attracting a wide range of insect pollinators[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Plants do not usually survive fires in the wild[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
The estimated maturation time for the sandalwood in Kalgoorlie District, Australia is 50 - 100 years[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Sandalwood is harvested by uprooting trees from the ground[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. The roots, stems and large branches are all utilized down to 2.5 cm diameter, dead sandalwood stems are also used[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Edible Uses

The fruits and pods are gathered from the wild and eaten as food[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Seed kernels of sandalwood may be eaten and have formed a valuable part of the traditional Aboriginal Australian diet[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. The kernels contain 45 - 55% oil, which is characterized by a high percentage of unusual acetylenic fatty acids[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Medicinal

The essential oil obtained from the wood is used medicinally, particularly as a disinfectant for the urinary tract[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The oil contains several medically active substances including fusanols, santalol and sesquiterpene alcohols[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

The ground under the canopy of this tree is usually littered with seeds and leaves these on decay replenish soil nutrients[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Because of its deep rooting habit, this tree could offer shade or support services yet compete minimally with other crop. However caution should be taken on account of its parasitic attributes[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Other Uses

The seed contains 45 - 55% oil, comprising about 49% oleic acid and about 40% ximenynic acid[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

An essential oil, known as West Australian sandalwood oil, can be obtained by water or steam distillation of the wood[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].. This is a pale yellow viscous liquid with a soft woody, somewhat balsamic sweetness; its top note is rather dry-bitter and slightly resinous; its main constituent is santalol[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. The oil is valuable in perfumery just like East Indian sandalwood oil[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

The wood is used in China as a temple incense[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
].

The heartwood is dark brown, and is surrounded by a pale coloured sapwood[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. It used to be extensively cut and exported as sandalwood. It can be used for wood carving, incense making and for the extraction of the essential oil[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. At present it is only harvested in small quantities[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The wood is an excellent fuel and has been used for firing brick kilns[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Propagation

Seed - mechanical scarification improves germination rates[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. In the wild, the seed germinates after extremes in temperature and rainfall[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Field studies indicate that only 1 - 5% of the seeds germinate[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. The rate of germination is higher in reserves and protected research and plantation areas, but is still less than 20%[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Establishment of the plant on an operational and plantation scale can be achieved by sowing 4 seeds per spot in well drained sites, 50 - 70 mm below the soil and mulching in a small depression at the drip line of the south side of a suitable host plant[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
The seedlings tend to die if their roots fail to attach to suitable hosts. The deaths therefore may be due to the inability to obtain some type of element for which the host is essential or the inability to take up sufficient nutrients to maintain growth[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

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