Santalum album  L. Sandalwood  - Santalaceae

Prized for its fragrance, the heartwood of sandalwood, Santanlum album, is a sacred perfume of the Hindus.  It still plays an important part in Hindu marriages when burned on the sacred fire at marriages.14

Sandalwood is a parasitic tree of southeast Asia and China.  Its roots attach themselves to other trees and shrubs, eventually causing them to die.  Very old trees are felled and left lying on the ground for several months.  Termites attack the tree and destroy the sapwood, but leave the fragrant heartwood intact.  This heartwood is one of the few woods immune to attack by the white ants that infest the area.  Because of this resistance its desirability for building has resulted in a serious depletion of the trees.

In southeast Asia beads made from the heartwood are used in necklaces and prayer beads.

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