Choretrum.JPG (71598 bytes)Choretrum candollei: is a member of the Santalaceae family. The species that make up this family are hemiparasites. Their leaves are able to photosynthesise but have to obtain water and soluble salts from host plants. Most Santalaceae are root parasites but a small number parasitise branches. Choretrum candollei is a root parasite and is endemic to Australia . In effect the species is an underground mistletoe.
Choretrum candollei is an erect shrub that is one to two metres tall with minute, scale-like leaves. The numerous flowers are white and scattered along the branches. The fruit is globular, dry and about four millimetres long. In the bush, this is a conspicuous shrub when in flower. Flowering occurs between June and September. Choretrum candollei is found in open forest usually on sandy soils. The species occurs in the south coast, southern tablelands, northern tablelands and western slopes of New South Wales as well as Queensland .
Propagation is difficult. Seeds take a long time to germinate and they will need a host to parasitise. Native grasses and Myoporum parvifolium have been used as host plants for other members of the family. Cuttings have also proved difficult to strike. Perhaps this is one native plant that should be left to be admired in the bush.