Endemic to the dry deciduous forests in the southern Eastern Ghats in South India, red sandalwood is also know as red sanders,  Rakt Chandan, and saunderswood.  It is a member of the pea family, Fabaceae, that also includes lupines, mimosa, and black locust.  Growing 15-33′ tall, this small tree  has dark brown fissured bark and alternate  trifolate leaves  that are 1-3.5″ long.  Short dense racemes of  yellow-green flowers appear from late winter to spring and give way to a winged seed pod 2.4-3.5″ long and containing 1-2 reddish- brown seeds.  The tree has numberous medicinal uses and is highly valued for its timber that is used for such  items furniture, building, carving and musical instruments.  In addition, a red pigment derived from the wood is used as a food dye. High demand and illegal harvesting of the tree has caused it to be classified as a threatened species.  The genus name, Pterocarpus, come from the Greek words pteron meaning wing and carpos meaning fruit and refers to the winged seed pod.  The specific epither, santalinus, comes from the Greek word santalon, meaning the sandalwood tree. Photo Credit  J M Garg Wikipedia

Type: Tropical tree

Outstanding Feature:Wood

Form: Dense round crown

Growth Rate: Rapid when young; slower with maturity

Bloom: Dense racemes of yellow-green flowers from late winter to spring

Size:15-33 H’

Light: Full sun

Soil: Average to poor, medium moist with dry season, well-drained, acidic

Hardiness: Zones 9-13

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases: Leaf eating caterpillars

Propagation: Seed (viable for about 1 year)

Outstanding Selections: Unknown

Photo Credit: Aris-Riyanto-Wikipedia

By Karen