Santalum album, or Indian sandalwood, is a small tropical tree, and the traditional source of sandalwood oil. It is native to southern India and Southeast Asia. It is considered sacred in some religions, and some cultures place great significance on its fragrant and medicinal qualities. However, the high value of the species has caused over-exploitation, to the point where the wild population is vulnerable to extinction. Indian sandalwood still commands high prices for its essential oil owing to its high alpha santalol content, but due to lack of sizable trees it is no longer used for fine woodworking as before. The plant is long-lived, but harvest is only viable after many years.
sandal + wood
- IPA(key): /ˈsandəlwʊd/
sandalwood (countable and uncountable, plural sandalwoods)
- Any of various tropical trees of the genus Santalum, native or long naturalized in India, Australia, Hawaii, and many south Pacific islands.
- The aromatic heartwood of these trees used in ornamental carving, in the construction of insect-repellent boxes and chests, and as a source of certain perfumes.
- Indian sandalwood