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Published In: Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae 305. 1810. (27 Mar 1810) (Prodr.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 9/22/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted

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SANTALACEAE (Sandalwood Family)

About 35 genera, 400–540 species.

Although it is not apparent from examination of the above-ground portions of the plants, members of the Santalaceae are all obligate parasites that derive water and part of their nutrition from the roots of host plants, in spite of being green and carrying out photosynthesis. Many members of the family are trees or shrubs, and it was only when their root systems were studied by botanists that the haustorial connections to host species were discovered. The genus Santalum L., sandalwood, produces a commercially important, resinous wood used in cabinet making. The ground wood and the extracted oils have a long history of use in incense, perfumes, and other cosmetics.

Recent molecular studies have suggested that the traditional Santalaceae might best be broken up into several smaller families within the order Santalales (Der and Nickrent, 2008). In the restricted sense, the family Comandraceae would comprise only two genera, Comandra and the North American endemic, Geocaulon Fernald (one species). A more conservative interpretation of these data results in an enlarged concept of Santalaceae to include the aforementioned genera, as well as the genera traditionally included in the dwarf mistletoe family, Viscaceae (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group, 2009).

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