Tag Archives: Santalaceae

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

Kunkeliella psilotoclada (Svent.) Stearn

Masca Brush Bush (Kunkeliella psilotoclada)  

The Mazca Brush Bush, known regionally as Escobilla or Escobilla de Masca, reached a height of about 1 m, it is, or rather was a broom-like semi-parasitic shrub with very small scale-like, stiff and pointed leaves.

The species is now considered extinct, as the last two specimens were found in 1983. The main reasons for its extinction are found in the uncontrolled grazing by introduced goats and rabbits. 


The other three species of the genus, the Gran Canaria Brush Bush (Kunkeliella canariensis Stearn) from the island of Gran Canaria as well as the Rue Brush Bush (Kunkeliella retamoides Santos) and the Fleshy Brush Bush (Kunkeliella subsucculenta Kämmer), both from Tenerife, are also extremely threatened. 



[1] Peter und Ingrid Schönfelder: Die Kosmos Kanarenflora. Franckh-Kosmos-Verlag Stuttgart 1997
[2] Thomas Abeli; Giulia Albani Rocchetti; Zoltan Barina; Ioannis Bazos; David Draper; Patrick Grillas; José María Iriondo; Emilio Laguna; Juan Carlos Moreno-Saiz; Fabrizio Bartolucci: Seventeen ‘extinct’ plant species back to conservation attention in Europe. Nature Plants 7: 282-286. 2021


edited: 13.11.2021