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Quandong

Santalum acuminatum

Santalum acuminatum
Quandong
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Common name
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Quandong Santalum acuminatum
Quandong (Santalum acuminatum)

Prized by Aborigines and early settlers alike, the Quandong is a shrub or small tree that grows up to 5 m high. It has a rough dark bark and sometimes yellowish green leathery leaves, lanceolate, often curved measuring between 30-90 mm long and 3-12 mm wide.

Rich in vitamin C, the Aborigines ate both the sharp-tasting flesh and the kernel of the large stone, although there is a toxin in the seed that is removed by roasting, and appears to decays over time. There is also some evidence that the seed is used for medicinal purpose. The wrinkled looking seed case was also used in the game Chinese checkers. The early settlers made the fruit into jams, jellies and pies.
 
The flower is small and greenish, with a greenish fruit that turns bright red, fleshing and enclosing a round pitted stone. There is also a rarer yellow-fruited form. The fruit ripens in September to October, depending on rainfall.

It is found growing in sandy spinifex areas, often near water courses, salt lakes or hills. Like others of the genus, the plant is parasitic on the roots of other trees.

Extreme care must be taken when identifying edible food plants and those used in bush medicine. Some bush foods are only edible at different stages of the plant cycle, or when treated appropriately. Bush medicine should only be used under the guidance of a qualified physician. Information here is only provided for research. You should always seek experts in the field to confirm the identification of the plant and whether they are edible or appropriate.

Common name Where Found
Desert Quandong
Sweet Quandong
Native Peach
Peach Tree
Found in the semi-arid, central desert and southern regions of Australia. It is found growing in sandy spinifex areas, often near water courses, salt lakes or hills.
Common name Indigenous Language Group
The quandong is known to many different indigenous language groups and is known by a number of local names:
 
pmerlpe, pmwerlpe Eastern Arrernte
pmwerlpe Western Arrernte
mangata, walku Pintupi
kuuturu, mangata, walku, wayanu,
witirrpa (seed)
Pitjantjatjara
goorti Narungga
guwandhang Wiradjuri, NSW
gutchu Wotjobaluk, WA
mangarda, mangarta Warlpiri
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Santalales
Family: Santalaceae
Genus: Santalum
Species: S. acuminatum
Binomial name: Santalum acuminatum
Quandong Images
Quandong (Santalum acuminatum), Central Australia
Quandong (Santalum acuminatum)  Colin Leel, September 2007

Quandong (Santalum acuminatum)  Colin Leel, September 2007

Quandong (Santalum acuminatum)  Colin Leel, September 2007

Quandong (Santalum acuminatum)  Colin Leel, September 2007

Quandong (Santalum acuminatum)  Colin Leel, September 2007

Quandong (Santalum acuminatum)  Colin Leel, September 2007

 

Source:
1. Bushfires and Bushtucker - Aboriginal Plant Use in Central Australia; Author: Peter Latz
2. A Guide To Plants Of Inland Australia; Author: Philip Moore
3. Santalum acuminatum. (2007, June 14). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 04:40, September 13, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Santalum_acuminatum&oldid=138230585
 
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