A tree of santol
Sandoricum indicum, Sandoricum nervosum, Melia koetjape.
Donka (Srilanka), kompen (Indonesia), tong (Laos.).
is a tropical fruit native to Indochina region. It was introduced to
India, Srilanka and many countries of South East Asia long back and has
become naturalized there It has also been introduced to Australia and
Santol is strictly a tropical plant and does not grow above 1000 m. It
is commonly cultivated in Asian countries and fruits are abundant in
local markets during the season.
Flowers of santol
Santol is a very elegant fast growing tree which cans attain height upto
50 m. It also makes a good shade tree. Leaves ar mostly trifoliate,
but sometimes the number of leaflets may be more; leaflets broadly ovate
to ovate oblong, abruptly acuminate; flowers in narrow axillary
panicles, yellow, faintly fragrant.
Fruit a berry, globose or somewhat flattened, 6-7.5 cm wide, yellow and
velvety when ripe, each containing 2-5 brown coloured inedible seeds.
edible part of the fruit is fleshy aril. The pulp, which is sweet and
sour, is eaten with spices or made into a preserve or jelly. The young
fruits are candied. The ripe fruits have a vinous taste. They are
fermented and mixed with rice to prepare an intoxicating drink.
Santol is a good source of vitamin C containing 80-90 mg of this vitamin
per 100 g of pulp.
There are two
types of Santol viz. yellow and red. These were earlier considered as
yellow type, the leaflets which are 15 cm long, turn yellow when old.
The fruit have a thin rind, and a characteristically sweet pulp,
0.6-1.25 cm thick, around the seeds. The fruit may not fall when ripe.
Only the Yellow is now found wild in Malayan forests.
leaflets of the red type are 30 cm long, velvety beneath, turning red
when old. The flowers are greenish or ivory borne on 30 cm long
panicles. The fruit has a thicker rind, frequently to1.25 cm. The
pulp is less and tastes sour. The fruit falls when ripe.
Santol can be
multiplied by seed, air layering, inarching or even budding onm its own
roots of the santol tree are reported to possess astringent, tonic,
stomachic leaves and bark are used medicinally as a
Several parts of the plant may have anti-inflammatory properties. They
are employed for the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery. These are
also used with vinegar as a carminative. Powdered bark is employed to
cure ringworm. It is also used for tanning fishing nets.