Quondong (Santalum acuminatum)

Delicious Quondong fruit.
Delicious Quondong fruit.

Common names: Quondong, Desert Quondong, Native Peach

Taxonomic name: Santalum acuminatum

Family: Santalaceae

Habitat: Widespread

Habit: Small tree to 5 metres

Flowering time: Late Summer

Kaurna name: Kurti, goorti

Description and uses: The reddish fruits of the Quondong are, possibly, the best known Australian bushfood, having been adopted by restaurants, chefs and cooks across the country. The distinctive, round seeds are used for both contemporary and Indigenous art, jewellery, art and toys.

Quondong fruits ripening.
Quondong fruits ripening.

The part eaten is the skin and flesh around the seed and is popular when dried to a leathery texture. It has a pleasant bite. The fruit also contains vitamin C and fats in good quantities.

Quondong seeds, wood and roots are rich in oils which give them antibacterial qualities. These oils also make them burn well with Quondong seeds being equated with Candlenuts for burning power and the wood being used to start fires by friction.

Quondong flowers.
Quondong flowers.

A young Quondong tree.
A young Quondong tree.