Santalum murrayanum (Bitter/Weeping Quandong). These have similar fruits to the ‘sweeter’ Quandong, but mature to yellow or orange colour instead of the shiny red fruits of S. acuminatum. A hemi-parasitic small tree with beautiful hanging foliage growing up to 6 plus metres tall.

Santalum murrayanum (Bitter/Weeping Quandong), Great Southern Region WA © Terry Dunham
Santalum murrayanum (Bitter/Weeping Quandong), Great Southern Region WA © Terry Dunham

The common name of bitter quandong (Santalum murrayanum), comes from the bitter fruit, unlike the sweet quandong (Santalum acuminatum). Like all species of the genus Santalum, the plant grows in a hemi-parasitic relationship with the roots of other nearby plants.

Santalum murrayanum (Bitter/Weeping Quandong), Great Southern Region WA © Terry Dunham
Santalum murrayanum (Bitter/Weeping Quandong), Great Southern Region WA © Terry Dunham
Santalum murrayanum (Bitter/Weeping Quandong), Great Southern Region WA © Terry Dunham
Santalum murrayanum (Bitter/Weeping Quandong), Great Southern Region WA © Terry Dunham
Santalum murrayanum (Bitter/Weeping Quandong), Great Southern Region WA © Terry Dunham
Santalum murrayanum (Bitter/Weeping Quandong), Great Southern Region WA © Terry Dunham

Growing as a shrub to a small tree, it blooms between October and January, and is found on sandplains and dunes, with a scattered distribution through the Wheatbelt, Great Southern and Goldfields-Esperance regions of Western Australia.

Santalum murrayanum (Bitter/Weeping Quandong), Great Southern Region WA © Terry Dunham
Santalum murrayanum (Bitter/Weeping Quandong), Great Southern Region WA © Terry Dunham
Santalum murrayanum (Bitter/Weeping Quandong), Great Southern Region WA © Terry Dunham
Santalum murrayanum (Bitter/Weeping Quandong), Great Southern Region WA © Terry Dunham

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Phylum: Tracheophyta
  • Subphylum: Angiospermae
  • Class: Magoliopsida
  • Order: Santalales
  • Family: Santalaceae
  • Genus: Santalum
  • Species: Santalum murrayanum

Footnote & References

  1. Santalum murrayanum (Bitter/Weeping Quandong), Great Southern Region WA. Photographs © Terry Dunham
  2. Santalum murrayanum (T.Mitch.) C.A.Gardner, Atlas of Living Australia, https://bie.ala.org.au/species/https://id.biodiversity.org.au/node/apni/7867973
  3. Bitter Quandong (Santalum murrayanum), iNaturalistAU, https://inaturalist.ala.org.au/taxa/553843-Santalum-murrayanum
  4. Santalum murrayanum, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santalum_murrayanum

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