Posted by: oliveaura | April 8, 2009

Sandalwood -Species-Growth-Regions

Where Sandalwood Grows

Sandalwood has a fairly good spread over the earth. It’s found in the west from Central America, Caribbean, South America, and stretches itself in the east from various parts of North Africa and then into India. You may also find sandalwood in South East Asia, Japan and Australia and in Hawaii. WOW

Different Families of Sandalwood

1.       Santalaceae

A.      Santalum

i.                     Album

ii.                   Austrocaledonicum

iii.                  Ellipticum

iv.                 Freycinetianum

v.                   Haleakalae

vi.                 Paniculatum

vii.                Spicatum

viii.              Yasi

2.       Rutacea

B.      Amyris

i.                     Balsamifera

How Does Sandalwood Grow?

Sandalwood species are parasitic. They artificially produce their own nutrients but start off using host trees to suck the living life out of them (i.e. their water and nutrients). 


Sandalwood Uses

Traditionally Sandalwood and its various varieties have been used by native peoples as a food source from its fruits and as medicine. Other uses included crafts and furniture. Its leaves were burned as an insect repellent. Essential oil and perfumery related use are traditional but not as ancient as the uses mentioned above.


Some Sandalwood varieties not mentioned above due yield a fragrant scent but do not yield fragrant essential oils.


Quality of Sandalwood

The quality of Sandalwood depends on its age, species, climate, soil conditions, rainfall, and region. The most valued Sandalwood today is the Santalum Album species which can be found in Southern India, Indonesia and North Western Australia. The most valued of Santalum Album today comes from various regions of India, most notably South East India. Next are the Indonesian and then Australian.


In addition to producing Santalum Album in North Western Australia, Santalum Spicatum is commercially produced for main uses as incense due to the very little to none oil yields.  


Historically, and in my opinion, the best Sandalwood comes from Hawaii. Hawaiian Sandalwood was on the brink of extinction due to Chinese demand of Sandalwood which caused over harvestation. It may be possible some other native Hawaiian Sandalwood species may have gone extinct without our knowledge. The U.S. government has produced a program which is being implemented today that seeks to replant lost native species (of all plants) and continual effort is saving the Hawaiian natural habitats.


One species of Sandalwood has been extinct due to habitat loss in South America.


To purchase the scent of sandalwood please click here.







  1. […] For more information on sandalwood please click here. […]

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