Pterocarpus santalinus L.f.

Sub-Family: Papilionoideae
English Name: Red Sandal Wood
Synonym: Lingoum santalinum (L.f.)Kuntze
Common Name: Chenchandanam, Red sanders, Ruby wood
Flowering & Fruiting Period: September - January
Distribution: South east peninsular India
Habitat: Cultivated
Uses: The heartwood is ground to a powder and used as a red food colouring in a range of foods. A paste of the wood is brewed as a tea in the treatment of chronic dysentery and is used to make a treatment for diabetes and as a boost for the immune system. The wood paste is applied externally as a cooling application to boils, inflammatory diseases of the skin, swollen limbs, ophthalmia, sore eyes and headache. Santalin, a red colouring material, is obtained from the dark red to black heartwood. The extracted oil is used as a rejuvenating face cream. The red, fragrant heartwood is used for furniture. The wood powder is used as a skin conditioner in commercial cosmetic preparations.
Key Characteristics: A small to medium-sized, deciduous tree with bark blackish-brown, yielding a deep red latex when cut; heartwood extremely hard, dark purple. Leaves usually imparipinnate, broadly ovate. Flowers yellow, borne a few together in simple or sparingly branched racemes; calyx teeth minute, deltoid. Fruit is a pod.