Santalum sp. ‘Rapa Nui’

Rapa Nui Sandalwood (Santalum sp.)  

The Rapa Nui Sandalwood is actually a hypothetical species, it is apparently known only from oral tradition.  

The plant was known to the Polynesian inhabitants as “naunau” or “nau opata“.  

The fruits are said to have been eaten, the emty nutshells were used by children as toys, the scent of the stem was described as very strong and perfuming.  

The species is considered extinct on the island since 1895. [1]  



[1] Anthony Dubois; Pierre Lenne; Elsa Nahoe; Marcos Rauch: Plantas de Rapa Nui. Guía Ilustrada de la Flora de Interés Ecológico y Patrimonial. Umanga mo te Natura, CONAF, ONF International, Santiago 2013  


edited: 04.09.2019