Santalum ellipticum

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Santalum ellipticum
Starr 070607-7271 Santalum ellipticum.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Santalales
Family: Santalaceae
Genus: Santalum
Species: S. ellipticum
Binomial name
Santalum ellipticum
Gaudich.[1]

Santalum ellipticum, commonly known as ʻIliahialoʻe (Hawaiian) or coastal sandalwood,[2] is a species of flowering plant in the European mistletoe family, Santalaceae, that is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands.[3] It is a sprawling shrub to small tree, typically reaching a height of 1–5 m (3.3–16.4 ft) and a canopy spread of 1–3 m (3.3–9.8 ft), but is extremely variable in size and shape. Like other members of the genus, S. ellipticum is a hemi-parasite, deriving some of its nutrients from the host plant by attaching to its roots.[4]

Habitat and range[edit]

ʻIliahialoʻe inhabits dry forests, low shrublands, and lava plains[4] throughout the archipelago, including the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, but has been extirpated from Laysan and Kahoʻolawe. Although never recorded on Niʻihau, its historic presence on the island is almost certain.[5] S. ellipticum is generally found at elevations from sea level to 560 m (1,840 ft), but populations can occur as high as 950 m (3,120 ft).[4] An isolated individual was observed growing at 2,140 m (7,020 ft) on the island of Hawaiʻi.[5]

Uses[edit]

Non-medicinal[edit]

The ʻlaʻau ʻala (heartwood) of ʻiliahialoʻe contains valuable, aromatic essential oils. Trees were harvested for export to China between 1791–1840, where the hard, yellowish-brown wood was made into carved objects, chests, and incense. The ʻiliahialoʻe trade peaked from 1815 to 1826.[6] Native Hawaiians used the wood to make pola, the deck on a waʻa kaulua (double-hulled canoe). Powdered ʻlaʻau ʻala was used as a perfume and added to kapa cloth.[7]

Medicinal[edit]

Native Hawaiians combined leaves and bark of the ʻiliahialoʻe with naio (Myoporum sandwicense) ashes to treat kepia o ke poʻo (dandruff) and liha o ka lauoho (head lice). ʻIliahialoʻe shavings mixed with ʻawa (Piper methysticum), nioi (Eugenia reinwardtiana), ʻahakea (Bobea spp.), and kauila (Alphitonia ponderosa) was used to treat sexually transmitted diseases.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Taxon: Santalum ellipticum Gaudich.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2009-06-12. Retrieved 2011-03-08. 
  2. ^ "Santalum ellipticum". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 3 November 2015. 
  3. ^ Little Jr., Elbert L.; Roger G. Skolmen (1989). "ʻIliahi-a-lo e, coast sandalwood" (PDF). Common Forest Trees of Hawaii (Native and Introduced). United States Forest Service. 
  4. ^ a b c Merlin, Mark D.; Lex A.J. Thomson; Craig R. Elevitch (April 2006). "Santalum ellipticum, S. freycinetianum, S. haleakalae, and S. paniculatum (Hawaiian sandalwood)" (PDF). The Traditional Tree Initiative. 
  5. ^ a b "Santalum ellipticum". Native Plants Hawaii. Retrieved 2011-03-08. 
  6. ^ a b "iliahi". Hawaiian Ethnobotany Online Database. Bernice P. Bishop Museum. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  7. ^ Medeiros, A. C.; C.F. Davenport; C.G. Chimera (1998). "Auwahi: Ethnobotany of a Hawaiian Dryland Forest" (PDF). Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.