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sandalwood,name for several fragrant tropical woods, especially for Santalum album, an evergreen partially parasitic tree either native to India or introduced there centuries ago. It is used for joss sticks in Buddhist religious ceremonies and funeral rites, as a paste or powder by Hindus and Jains, and is made into ornamental wares. The essential oil distilled from the wood is used extensively as a fragrance and has a place in traditional medicine. Santalum species are distributed Japan, Indonesia, and Australia across the Pacific to the Hawaiian and the Juan Fernández islands. Red sandalwood obtained from a leguminous tree (Adenanthera pavonina), also native to India, was probably the almug of the Bible. It is used chiefly as the source of a dye. Sandalwood is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnaliopsida, order Santalales, family Santalaceae.
(Santalum album), an evergreen tree of the family Santalaceae. The tree reaches a height of about 10 m. The sandalwood usually parasitizes the roots of sugarcane, bamboo, and palm, but it is also capable of developing independently. Sandalwood roots form suckers (haustoria) that penetrate the root tissues of other plants and suck out their nutrient substances. The sandalwood grows primarily in teak forests in India, on the Malay Peninsula, and on the islands of the Malay Archipelago. It is cultivated in India. The fragrant, yellow trunk wood contains 3–6 percent essential oil in its pith. The oil is used in perfume and medicine. The wood, souvenirs manufactured from the wood, and the essential oil are exported. Other species of Santalum having fragrant wood are also called sandalwood, for example, S. cunninghamii from New Zealand and S. austro-caledonicum from Australia and New Caledonia. Some species of the genera Derris and Bafia that have aromatic wood are also called sandalwood.
S. S. MORSHCHIKHINA