Santalum acuminatum  (R.Br.) DC. Quandong  - Santalaceae

The painted seeds of the quandong, Santalum acuminatum, served as Chinese checkers and as shirt-pins and stud-buttons.  The stone's hard pitted surface make attractive 'beads' for bracelets and necklaces.

Quandong, a small tree or tall shrub in the southwest and central desert regions of Australia, is its aboriginal name.  This is one of the most important trees of the Anangu people for its bright red, fleshy round fruits, one-half to three-quarters inch in diameter (2.5-3 cm) are edible and make delicious jams and jellies.

Aboriginal people also consume the nutritious kernel enclosed by the pitted stone and use its oil as a medicinal rub for skin and scalp.  At one time those seed kernels, so rich in oil, were speared on a stick to make a candle.

 

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