Santalum acuminatum
Family: Santalaceae

The quandong, native to the drier regions of Australia's mainland states, is now in commercial production in that country. The trees have pendulous foliage and grow to around 5 m (16 ft) high. The edible fruits are slightly tart but make an unusual addition to jams, jellies and fruit pies. The fruits provided a good dietary supplement to the inland's early settlers and are still eaten by the Aborigines. Stones of the fruit were used in games like Chinese Chequers and also used to make necklaces in the 19th century. The fruits, which have a high vitamin C content, can be eaten fresh or cooked. The quandong is unlikely to be available outside Australia.


This tree is a partial parasite and needs other plants to sustain it, especially in its early years. Where the climate is suitable, it must be grown in full sun, in an open, sandy or gravelly soil. Give regular water to establish, then only occasional deep waterings during flowering and fruit setting. It is not really suitable for growing under glass in frost-prone climates.


Zone 10. Arid.