Thursday, July 12, 2012

Scrub Sandalwood

Santalum obtusifolium
This little-appreciated bush tucker plant grows in the Ravensbourne area, on red soil. Its summer fruits are delicious. Just 1cm diameter, they are dark red, and juicy, with a single seed in the middle.
I had a good crop on my little plant this year. I am kicking myself that I didn’t photograph them. There’s a picture on Wikipedia, if you’re curious.

This sandalwood is a shrub, usually growing to about 1m high. It can grow in full sun, but also likes a situation with dappled shade.
It likes its soil well-drained, and it’s a good idea not to let it get too dry in its first season.

Here’s a young specimen at Peacehaven Botanic Park.
Note the grass growing at the base. Like all sandalwoods, this species is a partially parasitic plant. It is able to draw nutrients from the roots of plants around it, usually native grasses. It’s a good idea to plant some suitable grass with each sandalwood seedling.

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