Santalum album occurs from coastal dry forests up to 700 m elevation. It normally grows in sandy or stony red soils, but a wide range of soil types are inhabited. This habitat has a temperature range from 0° C to 38° C and annual rainfall between 500 and 3000 mm.

Santalum album is an evergreen tree. It can grow to a height of 20 m and attain a girth of over 1.5 m. It flowers and fruits twice a year during March-April and September-October. Trees start flowering from 3 years of age. Seed production generally is good in one of the seasons. Certain trees flower only once a year and some do not flower regularly. About 6000 seeds make 1 kg. Seeds can be collected directly from the tree. The fruits should be depulped, washed thoroughly in water, dried under shade, and stored in airtight containers. Sandalwood is a hemi root parasite. It can parasitize over 300 species from grass to another sandal plant. Under gregarious growing conditions, self-parasitism is common. Lack of understanding of the dynamics of parasitism has been the cause of failure of pure plantations in the past. Sandalwood establishes haustorial connections with the host plants and depends on them for its requirement of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. It can obtain other nutrients on its own. Seedlings can survive without a host for 3 years but thereafter they tend to die. In a natural population 2 percent of seedlings do not produce haustoria and they fail to survive on their own beyond 3 years of age.


Ø      Shobha N. Ral, Status and Cultivation of Sandalwood in India, Presented at the Symposium on Sandalwood in the Pacific, April 9-11, 1990, Honolulu, Hawai, USDA Forest Service Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-122. 1990.

Ø      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santalum_album#Habitat Viewed 15th September 2015