The lansan tree is found only on the Windward Islands of Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Saint Lucia. Its main stronghold is the island of Saint Lucia, where the tree plays a vital ecological, economic and cultural role.
The species accounts for a significant proportion (up to 10% in places) of the island’s remaining rainforest cover, and its fleshy fruit is a vital food source for native wildlife. Like other members of the incense tree family, lansan produces an aromatic resin. This is highly prized by Saint Lucians, particularly for use as slow-burning incense in household shrines and churches, and is also traded overseas, providing a vital revenue stream for some of the poorer members of society.