Flora of China
  FOC Vol.5 (2003)              | Family List  Santalaceae  PDF     | Link Font:+ Big | - Small
   Santalaceae  R. Brown
檀香科   tan xiang ke
Authors:Xia Nianhe (夏念和) ; Michael G. Gilbert

  • Xia Nianhe -- Department of Taxonomy, South China Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wushan, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510650, People’s Republic of China.
  • Michael G. Gilbert -- Missouri Botanical Garden, c/o Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AE, England, United Kingdom.


    Herbs or shrubs, rarely trees, usually root hemiparasites, occasionally aerial hemiparasites (Dendrotrophe and Phacellaria); nodes not articulated, mostly glabrous, less often hairy, hairs simple. Leaves usually alternate (opposite in Buckleya), sometimes scale-like (absent in Phacellaria); stipules absent; petiole often indistinct; leaf blade simple, usually pinnately veined, sometimes palmately 3-9-veined (in Dendrotrophe), margin entire. Inflorescences mostly axillary, occasionally terminal (in Buckleya), cymose, umbellate, paniculate, racemelike, spicate, or clustered, sometimes 1-flowered; bracts scale-like, small, sometimes forming involucre, sometimes ± adnate to pedicel (in Thesium); bracteoles sometimes present, paired. Flowers bisexual or unisexual (plants usually dioecious, rarely monoecious), actinomorphic, 3-6(-8)-merous, very small; perianth lobes 3-6(-8), slightly fleshy. Male flowers: perianth lobes valvate or slightly imbricate in bud, incurved or patent when flowering, sparsely hairy or with tongue-shaped appendage at the insertion of the stamens. Disk epigynous or perigynous, sometimes absent, margin sinuate or lobed, sometimes distinct, glandular or scaly. Stamens as many as and opposite to perianth lobes, usually on the base of lobes; filaments filiform, short; anthers gynobasic or dorsifixed near base, 2-celled, parallel or divaricate, dehiscence usually longitudinal. Female and bisexual flowers: perianth tube usually longer than that of male. Ovary inferior or half-inferior, 1- or 5-12-loculed; ovules 1-3(-5), anatropous or hemitropous, integument absent. Style 1; stigma capitate, small, truncate or lobed. Fruit a drupe or a nut, exocarp usually fleshy, endocarp crustaceous or bony. Seed 1, without a differentiated testa; endosperm copious, usually white and partitioned, fleshy; embryo cylindric, straight, small, smooth, rugose, or many ridged. 2n = 5, 6, 7, 12, 13+.

    About 36 genera and 500 species: widely distributed in tropical and temperate regions; seven genera and 33 species (13 endemic) in China.

    Three species of sandalwood, Santalum album Linnaeus, S. myrtifolium Linnaeus, and S. papuanum Summerhayes, have been recorded as cultivated in China. Wu Zhengyi (editor’s note) adds that he collected a fruiting specimen of a Santalum in the coastal forests of Taiwan (at KUN).

    Tam Pui-cheung. 1988. Santalaceae. In: Kiu Hua-shing & Ling Yeou-ruenn, eds., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 24: 52–86.

    1Leaves and vegetative stems almost absent; aerial epiparasite growing on Loranthaceae or Dendrotrophe; flowers minute, sessile, often very densely clustered.7  Phacellaria    重寄生属
    +Leaves and vegetative stems usually well developed; trees, shrubs, or vines, or terrestrial herbs with scale-like leaves; flowers often large, pedicellate, solitary, paired, or clustered.(2)
    2(1)Terrestrial herbs; leaves linear or scale-like; each flower subtended by 1, 2, or rarely 4, prominent, persistent bracteoles; fruit a nutlet, exocarp dry [sometimes fleshy].5  Thesium    百蕊草属
    +Trees, shrubs, or vines; leaves well developed, lanceolate to ovate; flowers usually without conspicuous, persistent bracteoles; fruit a drupe, exocarp fleshy.(3)
    3(2)Leaves opposite, first-formed leaves on shoots with prominent scarious, scale-like tips; fruit with 4(or 5) conspicuous, persistent, accrescent bracts near apex.1  Buckleya    米面蓊属
    +Leaves alternate, tips never scarious; fruit without enlarged persistent bracts.(4)
    4(3)Leaf blade palmately 3-9(-11)-veined; plants woody vines, often an aerial hemiparasite.6  Dendrotrophe    寄生藤属
    +Leaf blade pinnately veined; plants freestanding trees or shrubs.(5)
    5(4)Inflorescences cymose or 1-flowered; flowers 3(or 4)-merous; stems usually 3-angled; fruit to 1 cm.4  Osyris    沙针属
    +Inflorescences racemelike, thyrsoid, catkinlike, or 1-flowered; flowers 5(or 6)-merous; stems terete; fruit 3-5 cm.(6)
    6(5)Inflorescences terminal, on leafy axillary shoots, female inflorescences with flowers subtended by well-developed leaves and effectively solitary and axillary; anther cells longitudinally dehiscent; fruit with apical disk more than 5 mm wide.2  Pyrularia    檀梨属
    +Inflorescences axillary, lacking normal leaves, male inflorescences sometimes in cluster; anther cells transversely dehiscent; fruit with apical disk to 2.5 mm wide.3  Scleropyrum    硬核属
       Lower Taxon
  • Buckleya  Torrey  米面蓊属
  • Dendrotrophe  Miquel  寄生藤属
  • Osyris  Linnaeus  沙针属
  • Phacellaria  Bentham  重寄生属
  • Pyrularia  Michaux  檀梨属
  • Scleropyrum  Arnott  硬核属
  • Thesium  Linnaeus  百蕊草属