The Santalaceae or Sandalwood Family is a small family within the order Santalales whose members are parasitic or semi-parasitic shrubs, herbs and trees. World-wide, The Plant List identifies just over 40 plant genera and 992 accepted species names. In North America, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) shows 9 genera and 34 accepted taxa overall.
In the North America flora, depending of which taxonomy you review, Santalaceae includes 2 large mistletoe genera, Phoradendron (mistletoes) and Arceuthobium (dwarf mistletoes). Others place these species in the Viscaceae Family under the order Santalales.
Common North American characteristics: Leaves; alternate, entire, narrowly linear lanceolate, to ovate-oblong, simple, sub-sessile to short petiolate. Flowers; small, greenish or white, perfect, in terminal or sub-terminal clusters, 3 to 6 flowered cymes, actinomorphic, funnel-shaped, no petals, tepals 5,bisexual or unisexual. Fruit; a drupe, sub-globose indehiscent, dry or fleshy seed-like nut.