What is Sandalwood?

Sandalwood is the fragrant heartwood of species of genus Santalum (family –Santalaceae). In India, the genus is represented by Santalum album. Its wood, known commercially as “East Indian Sandalwood” and essential oil from it as “East Indian Sandalwood Oil” are among the oldest known perfumery materials.

The word sandal has been derived from Chandana (Sanskrit) and Chandan (Persian). It is called Safed Chandan in Hindi, Srigandha, Gandha in Kannada, Sandanam in Tamil, Chandanamu in Telugu. Historical review reveals that sandalwood has been referred to in Indian mythology, folklore and ancient scriptures. It is generally accepted that sandal is indigenous to peninsular India as its history of recorded occurrence dates back to at least 2500 years

Sandalwood is a small evergreen tree, a partial root parasite, attaining a height of 12 to 13 meters and girth of 1 to 2.4 meters with slender drooping as well as erect branching. Flowers are purplish brown, unscented and are borne in axillary or terminal cymose panicles. Flowers are tetra or pentamerous. The ovary is semi inferior and unilocular. The tree starts flowering at an early age of 2 to 3 years. Generally, trees flower twice a year from March to May, and September to December. Some times the two flushes of flower production may overlap each other so Knowing the Species Distribution and Natural Habitat Morphology and Phenology that the same tree may show all stages of development of flower initiation to mature fruits at one time. Fruit is a drupe, purplish when fully matured and single seeded. Seeds are naked, lack testa and are dried and stored.

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