CITESwoodID: descriptions, illustrations, identification and information retrieval

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H. G. Richter, K. Gembruch, G. Koch

Pterocarpus santalinus L.f. (Red sanders) - CITES II

Nomenclature. Family: FABACEAE-FABOIDEAE. Further trade and local names: Kaliaturholz, rotes Sandelholz (D); red sandalwood, India sandalwood (GB); sandal rouge (FR); sandalo rosso (IT); chandaman, panaka (IN). Code according to DIN EN 13556: none. Internal code: RSA.

CITES(EU) status of protection. Listed in Annex II(B). Similar woods: other species of the genus Pterocarpus .

Geographic distribution. India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka (+ Nepal).

Growth rings, colour, grain, etc. Growth ring boundaries indistinct or absent. Heartwood basically brown (dark orange brown, darkening to nearly black under exposure); without streaks. Sapwood distinct from heartwood colour. Odour indistinct or absent. Wood heavy and hard (0.77–0.85 g/cm3). Interlocked grain present.

Hardwood vs softwood. Vessels (pores) present (= hardwood).

Vessels (pores). Wood diffuse-porous. Vessels (pores) arranged in no specific pattern; in multiples.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma present; banded, or not banded. Parenchyma bands exclusively marginal (or seemingly marginal); narrow. Other macroscopically visible types of axial parenchyma: aliform, confluent. Aliform parenchyma winged.

Rays. Rays narrow. Large rays commonly less than 1 mm high.

Storied structure. Storied structure present. Tiers regular (horizontal or slightly inclined); 4–5–6 per axial millimetre.

Physical and chemical tests. Heartwood not fluorescent. Water extract fluorescent (pale green); colourless to brown. Ethanol extract fluorescent (orange pink in different intensity); colourless to brown, or red. Froth test positive. Splinter burns to partial ash, or to charcoal; colour of ash white to grey.

Additional information. • rsa.jpg. Pterocarpus santalinus (Red sanders). • rsa-amb.jpg. The timbers of the two Pterocarpus species cannot be safely distinguished macroscopically. Observable differences (structure, color, weight) are of a quantitative nature and not very helpful diagnostic tools. • rsa-soy.jpg. The wood of Pterocarpus soyauxii is lighter in weight (around 0.75 g/cm³) compared to that of P. santalinus (around 1.00 g/cm³); its structure is rather coarse and its heartwood color features a violet hue.


The interactive key allows access to the character list, illustrations, full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting specified attributes, summaries of attributes within groups of taxa, and geographical distribution.

Cite this publication as: ‘Richter, H.G., Gembruch, K., and Koch, G. 2014 onwards. CITESwoodID: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval. In English, French, German, and Spanish. Version: 16th May 2014. delta-intkey.com’.

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