4 Types Of Sandalwood Tree | Discover Sandalwood Variety

Types Of Sandalwood


This post includes a description of the various types of sandalwood and its taxonomy.

Different types of sandalwood are classified by their aroma and they can also be classified based on their historical footprints. Sandalwood comes in fifteen species, including East Indian sandalwood, Australian sandalwood, Hawaiian sandalwood, and Pacific Island sandalwood.

Sandalwood is a species found in the dry deciduous forests such as  India, Indonesia, Australia, and the Philippines

Among the most commercially grown plants in the world, sandalwood is best known for its strong, lasting aroma derived from its oil. There are many types of sandalwood throughout the world, and we will discuss the most popular types

1) White Sandalwood(Santalum album)

types of sandalwood

types of sandalwood

White sandalwood and east Indian sandalwood are popular names for this wood, as its heartwood can range from pale green to white. It is normally found in the eastern parts of India.

The species is native to the southern Eastern Ghats mountain range of South India, but its exact origin is unclear

Woods of this type are yellow, heavy, and fine grained, with a pleasant scent and recognizable by their fruit, leaves, and flowers, as displayed below

Among the species of sandalwood this one has a pleasant aroma, making it the most costlier sandalwood.

The fragrance of the wood can last for decades, and it has become valuable internationally.


2) Coastal Sandalwood(Santalum ellipticum)

types of sandalwood

Santalum ellipticum, also known as coastal sandalwood or ‘Iliahialo’, is a kind of flowering plant native to the Hawaiian Islands.

As a hemiparasite, it obtains nutrients from the host plant by attaching itself to its roots.

Coastal sandalwood leaves and bark were used to treat sexually transmitted diseases.


3) Brown Sandalwood(Santalum yasi)

types of sandalwood

The species is found in the Pacific – Niue, Tonga, and Fiji in the region of Open, dry forests, and woodland communities. Usually found in secondary forest communities.

Suitable for loamy soil prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Acid, neutral, and basic (alkaline) soils are suitable.

Shade is not conducive to its growth. It prefers moist or dry soil and can tolerate drought.

To treat elephantiasis or lymphatic filariasis, a decoction of sandalwood and Homolanthus leaves is taken.

4) Australian sandalwood(Santalum spicatum)

types of sandalwood

Australian sandalwood, also known as Waang and other names (Noongar) and Dutjahn (Martu), is a tree native to semi-arid areas at the edge of Southwest Australia.

Valuable sandalwood oil is extracted from it and is used as an aromatic, medicine, and food.

As it is one of four high-value Santalum species found in Australia.

Historically, harvesting and exporting this tree has been a major source of revenue for Western Australia, accounting for more than half of its economy at one time

The oils produced by this tree contain a great variety of chemicals, many of which have antimicrobial properties.



Taxonomic Tree Of Sandalwood

Kingdom: Plantae
Division  : Tracheophyta
Class       : Magnoliopsida
Family     : Santalaceae
Genus      : Santalum
Species    : Sandalwood comes in various types of species
ex: Santalum album (White Sandalwood)


Sandalwood has three different types, namely East Indian sandalwood, Australian sandalwood, Hawaiian sandalwood, and Pacific Island sandalwood. Each of these types has its own aroma, and each belongs to the family Santalaceae.


Frequently Asked Question

Different types of sandalwood ?

A total of 17+ species of sandalwood are recognized; they include East Indian sandalwood, Australian sandalwood, Hawaiian sandalwood, and hybrid sandalwood grown for commercial purpose.

How to identify sandalwood tree

Sandalwood trees can be identified based on their leaves' shape, color, veins, and texture.

What family does sandalwood belong to ?


Why is sandalwood so popular?

One of the most expensive woods in the world is sandalwood. Wood and oil produce a distinctive fragrance that has been highly valued for centuries. Therefore, some species of these slow-growing trees have suffered over-harvesting in the past.

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