Family: Bastard-toadflax [Santalaceae]



The Bastard-toadflax Family used to be called the Mistletoe (Viscaceae) Family.

The Sandalwood tree (Santalum album yields oil of sandalwood, which contains an allergenic oil santanol, a sesquiterpene, which is used in incense, and also in modern perfume and cosmetic industries. It has a woody fragrance. Oil of Sandalwood is a allergenic sensitizer, repeated contact with which can give rise to contact dermatitis. There are two constituent santanols in Oil of Santanol, α-Santanol and β-Santanol.

α-Santanol has a strained three-membered cyclopropane ring, shown in red; which is fairly unusual in the natural world.

Sandalwood trees are not native to the British Isles. The only Sandalwood Family plant that does grow wild here is Bastard Toadflax, and then only in a 50 mile radius around Portsmouth and Southampton.

The Bastard-toadflax [Santalaceae] Family which had but one Genus, Viscum, has been subsumed into this the Sandalwood Family. The Viscum Genus, of those plants in the UK, contains only Mistletoe. Similarly, the Thesium Genus contains only the plant Bastard Toadflax.

[VISCUM] Mistletoe

Mistletoe (Viscum album) Photo: © RWD

Family: Bastard-toadflax [Santalaceae]

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