Hard, bright red seeds of a common tree native to India and southern China, but now found in Indonesia, Polynesia, Surinam, the Virgin Islands and indeed introduced almost everywhere in the moist tropics. The seeds of this tree are consistently very close to a fourth of a gram. They are sometimes called Circassian seeds, and in the Caribbean are known as jumbie beads.
In Malay the Red Sandalwood is called the “Saga,” a word apparently derived from the Arabic word for goldsmith.
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Last revised: 11 October 2001.