Santalum lanceolatum

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Santalum lanceolatum
Santalum lanceolatum.jpg
Santalum lanceolatum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Santalales
Family: Santalaceae
Genus: Santalum
Species: S. lanceolatum
Binomial name
Santalum lanceolatum

Santalum lanceolatum is an Australian tree of the family Santalaceae. It is commonly known as Desert Quandong, Northern Sandalwood, Sandalwood or True Sandalwood and in some restricted areas as Burdardu. The height of this plant is variable, from 1 to 7 metres. The flowers are green, white, and cream; appearing between January and October. The species has a distribution throughout central Australia, becoming scattered or unusual in more southern regions.[1]


Santalum lanceolatum was described by Robert Brown in Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae (1810).[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The native range of the plant extends from north-western Victoria, northwards through New South Wales to North Queensland, westwards across The Northern Territory and into North Western Western Australia. It is a plant primarily of arid and semi-arid inland areas although its distribution reaches the coast in both Central Queensland and The Kimberley. The tree is becoming increasingly rare across much of its desert range due to destructive browsing by feral camels.


The family Santalaceae falls within the mistletoe clade, and S. lanceolatum is a hemi-parasite which obtains some of its water and mineral nutrient requirements from the roots of other plants.

Medicinal uses[edit]

The plant is used by the people of the northwest for medicinal purposes, and is placed within the 'Burndad song cycle' of those countries.[3] In the Marra language it is called 'dumbuyumbu'.[4] This name also occurs in neighbouring languages such as Alawa and is used in Roper River Kriol.

Burning the leaves repels insects.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Santalum lanceolatum R.Br.". FloraBase. Western Australian Government Department of Parks and Wildlife. 
  2. ^ "Santalum lanceolatum R.Br.". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. 
  3. ^ a b Burndud (1990). Wanggalili; Yinjibarndi and Ngarluma Plants. Juluwarlu Aboriginal Corporation. 
  4. ^ Heath, Jeffrey (1981). Basic materials in Mara: grammar, texts and dictionary. Pacific Linguistics. 

External links[edit]