Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Santalum acuminatum (R.Br.) A.DC.

An erect shrub or small tree with lance-shaped leaves and bumerous small flowers in mostly terminal panicles, followed by bright red, rarely yellow, edible sweet fruit, 25mm long.  The seeds or nuts are also edible.  To 6m.  Member of the Sandalwood family from southern and more arid parts of Australia, partially parasitic on the roots of other plants. [FNSW, Wrigley].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘The kernels of the nuts (Quandongs) of this small tree are not only palatable and nutritious, but they are so full of oil that if speared on a stick or reed they will burn entirely away with a clear light, much in the same way as candle-nuts (Aleurites triloba) do. Quandongs are so abundant in parts of the country that they may possibly be used as oil-seeds in the future.’ [Maiden – The Useful Native Plants of Australia p.285/1889].

History at Camden Park

Seed of the Quandong was sent to Mr. Newman of Van Diemens Land in 1846.  Macarthur may not have grown it himself.  Grows mainly to the west of the Great Dividing Range.


Another, less likely identification is Elaeocarpus grandis F.Muell. (Elaeocarpaceae), a large rainforest tree from Queensland and NSW which also bears large blue fruits and also commonly called Quandong.  Hardy as far south as Sydney.  [Wrigley].  Not described by Mueller until 1861 but may have been known under its common name before this.

Published Mar 31, 2010 - 03:47 PM | Last updated Mar 31, 2010 - 03:50 PM

Family Santalaceae
Region of origin

Australia, including New South Wales

  • Santalum cognatum Miq.
  • Santalum preissianum Miq.
  • Santalum densiflorum Gand.
  • Mida acuminata (R.Br.) Kuntze
  • Eucarya acuminatus (R.Br.) Sprague & Summerh.
  • Fusanus acuminatus R.Br. 
Common Name

Sweet Quandong, Quandong

Name in the Camden Park Record


Confidence level medium