Santalum (sandalwood; family Santalaceae) A genus of semi-parasitic shrubs and small trees, with opposite, simple leaves which are often linear, and roots that attach to the roots of other plants. The small flowers are held in cymes or panicles, and are green or white in colour. The perianth is 4-lobed, and there are 4 stamens. The fruit is a globular drupe with an outer, succulent, brightly coloured cover over the hard, woody shell that protects the seed. The succulent part of the fruit is edible. S. spicatum is one of the fragrant sandalwoods used for incense. S. album gives sandalwood oil and is extensively cultivated, especially in India, although it appears not to be native there. The oil is distilled from the wood. There are 8–9 species which are found from south-eastern Asia to the south-western Pacific region and Hawaii.
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