Santalum austrocaledonicum - Vieill.
Common Name Pacific Sandalwood
Family Santalaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Open, dry forests and woodland communities[312 ]. Usually found in secondary forest formations[312 ].
Range Pacific - New Caledonia and Vanuatu.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating  
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

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Santalum austrocaledonicum, known as Pacific Sandalwood or Sandalwood, is a slow-growing shrub or small tree growing up to 12m in height. Its crown is spreading and its bole is short, crooked, and about 40-50cm in diameter. It is a hemiparasitic plant, obtaining some water and soil nutrients from host plants nearby. It is cultivated throughout the Pacific for its heartwood and as an ornamental. No plant part is edible but it has medicinal uses. In particular, decoction of this plant, when mixed with the leaves of Homolanthus, can be used to treat elephantiasis or lymphatic filariasis. Further, it is a pioneer species. The heartwood yields high-quality essential oil which is used in perfumery, cosmetics, incense, and religious ceremonies. The wood is rarely used as a timber.

Santalum austrocaledonicum Pacific Sandalwood

Santalum austrocaledonicum Pacific Sandalwood
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of cone
Santalum austrocaledonicum is an evergreen Tree growing to 10 m (32ft) by 10 m (32ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

This name is unresolved.

Edible Uses
None known
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

A decoction of sandalwood, combined with Homolanthus leaves, is taken to treat elephantiasis or lymphatic filariasis[312 ].


Other Uses
Agroforestry Uses: A pioneer species, spreading freely into grassland etc by means of bird-sown seeds[312 ]. Other Uses An essential oil is extracted from the heartwood. A high quality oil, it is used for cosmetics and perfumery, incense, and religious ceremonies[312 ]. The grated wood is traditionally used to scent coconut oil[312 ]. The heartwood is yellow and scented. The wood is fine-grained and durable[46. It has been used for making boxes, carvings and small fancy articles[46 , 312 ]. The wood is rarely used as a timber because of its high value as a source of an essential oil[312 ].
Cultivation details
The plant grows naturally in warm to hot lowland areas in the tropics at elevations up to 800 metres, but usually below 300 metres[312 ]. It prefers a mean annual temperature in the range 23 - 27?c[312 ]. It is found in areas where the mean annual rainfall is in the range 1,250 - 1,750mm (though it can tolerate 800 - 2,500mm), and there is a distinct dry season of 3 - 5 months[312 ]. Requires a position in full sun or bright shade[312 ]. Requires a light to medium, well-drained soil[312 ]. Prefers a well drained neutral to slightly alkaline soil. Tolerates poor, shallow soils[312 ]. It grows more quickly in fertile soils but is then more at risk of being shaded out by taller, faster growing trees[312 ]. Prefers a circumneutral soil with a pH of pH 6.1 - 7.4, but can tolerate 4 - 7.4[312 ]. The plant has a capacity for invasiveness in disturbed places, but this is rarely considered a problem[312 ]. A semi-parasitic plant, obtaining some of its nutriment from the roots of other plants[144 ]. 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 ]. 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 ]. It normally has more than one host at a time[343 ]. Acacia spirorbis makes a good long-term host plant under both natural conditions and in plantations. For ultramafic soils, other good nitrogen-fixing host species are Casuarina collina and Gymnostoma deplancheana[312 ]. A fairly slow-growing plant, increasing in height by about 30 - 70cm per year[312 ]. Under good conditions plants begin fruiting from an early age, typically about 3 - 4 years, but heavy fruiting may take 7 - 10 years[312 ]. The species can produce substantial quantities of its valuable heartwood on a rotation of about 25 - 40 years[312 ]. Plants generally respond well to coppicing[312 ]. Plants are capable of producing root suckers - following harvesting, clumps of suckers may regenerate in a circular pattern several meters away from the original stump[312 ]. Because sandalwood is hemiparasitic and requires one or more host plants, intercropping is not only possible, but necessary[312 ].
Seed - germinates best when scarified. It is best sown fresh when the viability is high, with 80 - 90% of the seed germinating after 2 - 3 months[312 ]. Sow the seed in a covered nursery seedbed - it germinates best at a temperature of 28 - 31?c[312 ]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they have 2 - 4 leaves[312 ]. Acacia species, Calliandra calothyrsus, and Casuarina spp. May be used as hosts for the young plants in pots, but Calliandra needs frequent cutting back to prevent it from overtopping the sandalwood[312 ]. Plant out into permanent positions when 20 - 25cm tall, approx 5 - 6 months after germination[312 ].
Other Names
new caldedonia sandalwood
Found In
New Caledonia; Vanuatu
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

The plant has a capacity for invasiveness in disturbed places, but this is rarely considered a problem[312 ].
Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Santalum acuminatumQuandong11
Santalum ellipticumCoast Sandalwood12
Santalum freycinetianumLanai Sandalwood, Hawaiian Sandalwood12
Santalum haleakalaeHaleakala Sandalwood, Lliahi12
Santalum lanceolatum 11
Santalum murrayanum 10
Santalum paniculatumMountain Sandalwood, Hawaiian Sandalwood, 'Iliahi12
Santalum spicatumWest Australian Sandalwood22
Santalum yasiYasi, Fijian Sandalwood, Brown Sandalwood02


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Subject : Santalum austrocaledonicum  

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