Santalum L.

Greek santalon — sandalwood.

Shrubs or small trees; root parasites. Leaves opposite or whorled. Flower clusters terminal or axillary. Flowers bisexual with 4 flower segments, usually with tufts of hair at the base behind the stamens. Stamens 4 with a prominent disk. Ovary inferior, containing 2-4 ovules. Fruit a drupe.

Occasionally grown,mainly for the fruits but, being parasitic, requiring special cultivation techniques. The commercial potential of the edible outer flesh of the fruits has been explored.

About 25 species from Malaysia to Australia, including the Pacific Islands. Australia has 5 endemic species.


Fruits edible; the fragrant wood used for carving, joss sticks exported to Asia. Indian Sandalwood, S. album, has a high-quality oil in the heartwood and the possibility of commercial plantations in the Ord River region is being explored.

Ovary inferior; leaves opposite or whorled, persistent.

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Santalaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Santalanae
order      Santalales
family       Santalaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Santalum acuminatum (R.Br.) A.DC.