Habit: The Chandan tree is small and evergreen. It takes helps from the roots of trees growing around it but does not cause damage to them. It uses the roots of other trees to get micro nutrients it needs, especially in its early phases of development.
Stem: The bark of the wood is smooth and dark, reddish-brown or black. As the tree grows it develops cracks and you can see bits of red through it.
Leaves: The leaf is simple, light green-coloured above and paler beneath. It is thin and long.
Flower: The tree starts to flower after about 7 years and its flowers are white when it is young. As the tree ages, the colour of the flowers turn towards red.
Fruit: The fruit is produced about 3 years after flowering.
Seed Dispersal: Birds spread the seeds.
Where they grow: It grows all across the Deccan plateau, eastern Indonesia and northern Australia.
It grows well in well-drained soils, can withstand temperatures from 0° – 38° C and rainfall between 500mm to 3000mm. It likes the sun but does not need too much water.
Medicinal: It has been used in local medicine for a range of remedies from the treatment of a common cold to heart ailments.
Religious: In India the oil and the wood has been used in religious practices for centuries. The oil is derived from the center or the heartwood which is yellowish brown in colour.