Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

Santalum acuminatum

Santalaceae

Sweet Quandong

Karnpuka to Paakantyi people, Guanta to Ngiyampaa people

Description

This small tree grows to 6 m high. Its pale olive-green leaves are 3-9 cm long and 3-15 mm wide, growing opposite each other along the stem. The numerous flowers are found on the ends of branches and appear throughout the year. The bright shiny red fruit is 15-25 mm in diameter. The kernel is covered by a hard, pitted, woody shell.

Where it is found

The Sweet Quandong occurs in a range of woodland communities on sandy sites to gravely ridges. It is widespread west of Dubbo on the western and far western slopes and plains across New South Wales. It also occurs in Queensland, the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia.

Uses

  • This is the, we call it guanta, which is the Quandong, commonly known as the wild peach. When the fruit is red they’re ripe and they can be eaten. The fruit is also used today in making ketchup, chutneys and sauces. The nut inside the Quandong fruit is used for making necklaces. They burn two holes, one at both ends, with a hot wire. They used to make anklets as well for decoration - they used the feathers from the emu - anklets for doing special ceremonies, especially when the girls were getting married. Also the cracked the nut open, and they get the kernel out and the kernel was used for grinding to make flour for cakes. If the kernel was plentiful they’d also just eat them off the tree; crack them open and eat the kernel straight away. If they got the big old Quandong trees, the trunks of the trees were for coolamons, for making their dishes, because it is nice, soft wood to work with.
    Beryl Carmichael

Further information

Click here for further information on Santalum acuminatum.

Beryl Carmichael holding Sweet Quandongs
Beryl Carmichael holding Sweet Quandongs (Santalum acuminatum). Photo: Bob Percival.

Santalum-acuminatum
Santalum acuminatum: habit, seed, leaves and fruit, flowers.