Hawaiian Sandalwood

by Andrea Butje on November 12, 2012

As I mentioned in my last post on Sandalwood, two organizations–the United Plant Savers and the International Sandalwood Foundation–came together to organize a four-day Sandalwood Symposium. During the symposium, information was shared on species of Sandalwood from around the world, including Hawaiian Sandalwood.

Hawaiian Sandalwood essential oil has recently become available.

I got interested when I smelled a sample of the essential oil distilled from Santalum paniculatum, a white flowering Sandalwood tree growing on the Big Island of Hawaii. The aroma is deep, woody, balsamic and rich; similar to the classic Indian Sandalwood (Santalum album).

There are currently six species of Sandalwood trees on the Hawaiian islands–however, the only species being harvested to produce essential oil at the time of this blog post is Santalum paniculatum.

The two formerly recognized red-flowered Sandalwoods have been recently re-classified into four species:

  1. Santalum fryecinetianum var. lanaiense (listed as endangered)
  2. Santalum halaekae
  3. Santalum pyrularium
  4. Santalum involutum (ancient hybrid)

White Flowered Species, only found on the Big Island!

  1. Santalum ellipticum (coastal shrub)
  2. Santalum paniculatum (large tree)

Here is a list of Sandalwood species from around the world. Notice there are two links on some of them–one takes you to more information about the species, and the other takes you to the author (when known). For example, the link for Santalum album takes you to more information for that species, and the “L” link takes you to a page about Carl Linnaeus.

Side note: In botanical nomenclature, author citation refers to citing the person (or group of people) who published a botanical name, i.e. who first published the name while fulfilling the formal requirements specified by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN). In botany, it is customary to abbreviate author names according to the list of standard abbreviations.

*Thanks to Danica T. Harbaugh-Reynaud for her work clarifying the exact species, and to Susan Leopold for sending me the information.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Liz Fulcher December 9, 2012 at 4:50 pm

This is information is so exciting! I am truly grateful to have this new information on Sandalwood.

I’m happy that more sources of this important essential oil are coming to light light since the Indian Sandalwood is difficult to obtain.

A wonderful post ~ Thank you Andrea!
Liz Fulcher recently posted…TeleConference Dec 19th: Essential Oils for Respiratory HealthMy Profile

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