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Santalum spicatum – Australian Sandalwood (seed)

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Santalum spicatum, the Australian sandalwood, also Waang and other names (Noongar) and Dutjahn (Martu), is a tree native to semi-arid areas at the edge of Southwest Australia, in the state of Western Australia and SA. It is traded as sandalwood and its valuable sandalwood oil has been used as an aromatic, medicine and a food source. Santalum spicatum is one of four high-value Santalum species occurring in Australia. The Noongar peoples know the plant as uilarac, waang, wolgol, or wollgat, while the Martu people of the Gibson Desert call it dutjahn.

Commercially produced in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia. Exported from Australia since 1840s and was once Western Australia’s largest export earner. Of the 15 different species of sandalwood that grow throughout the world, there are 2 main varieties that are traded internationally. These are Santalum spicatum (Australian sandalwood) and Santalum album (Indian sandalwood). Australian sandalwood currently supplies well over half of all sandalwood traded around the globe annually. Australian sandalwood has historically been used in the agarbatti and incense markets in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other Asian countries. It has been widely accepted in these areas for over 150 years. In recent years Australian sandalwood oil has been incorporated into many high end perfumes and other cosmetic products. Australian sandalwood does produce a lower oil content when compared to Indian sandalwood although it consistently produces the oil forming heartwood from a young age. Australian plantation sandalwood has been tried and tested in plantations throughout Western Australia for over 25 years by both private and Government organisations. From the WA Sandalwood website.

Care and Cultivation of Santalum spicatum

Shrub, 1-5 m high, hemiparasitic on roots. Germination is difficult, and may depend on the El Niño cycle. Success has been reported by placing the kernels in moist vermiculite in sealed plastic bags at room temperature. Once germinated, seeds should be planted next to a (preferably Australian native) seedling, and watered adequately. The main host species is Acacia acuminata, which is used in plantations, which sustains a 15- to 30-year, long-term host species in loamy sands over clay duplex soils. Rock sheaok Allocasuarina huegeliana, Acacia resinimarginea, and Acacia aneura are also used. Species of Myoporum are quite often used as well. I would suggest using an Acacia species native to your local area and Myoporum which are generally available at plant nurseries.

Santalum seedlings can benefit from partial shading, whereas wild mature trees are not often shaded. The use of low thorny or laterally spreading Acacia species in plantations initially shades Sandalwood seedlings but allows access by the hemiparasite to full sunlight when it grows beyond canopy

Some species recognised as suitable hosts are:

Acacia; Acacia acuminata, Acacia saligna, Acacia pulchella, Acacia cyclops, Acacia redolens, Acacia glaucoptera, Acacia rostellifera, Acacia microbotrya, Acacia dictyoneura, Acacia consobrina, Acacia lasiocalyx and Acacia lasiocarpa.

Other nitrogen fixing genera: Allocasuarina, Bossiaea, Brachysema, Chorizema, Daviesia, Jacksonia, Kennedia, Nemcia, Senna, Mirbelia, Gastrolobium and Templetonia.

Other useful genera; Hakea, Dryandra, Dodonaea, Eremophila  and Myoporum. (Info taken from here.)

3 seeds per packet (herbs postage is necessary due to the size of the seeds). Seeds are from South Australia populations.



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