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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.


Perennial, woody at least at base, glabrous or short-hairy. Stem: generally > 20 cm, not angled, green, less often ± red. Leaf: with blade or < 1 mm, scale-like. Inflorescence: spikes, few- to many-flowered, peduncled; flowers ± sunken into axis. Flower: perianth parts generally 3. Staminate flower: anthers 2-chambered. Pistillate flower: perianth parts persistent. Fruit: ± 3–6 mm, ± spheric, 1-colored, white, pink, or ± red, bird-dispersed; pedicel 0.
± 240 species: temperate, tropical America. (Greek: tree thief) [Abbott & Thompson 2011 J Bot Res Inst Texas 5:139–141; Kuijt 2003 Syst Bot Monogr 66:1–643]
Unabridged note: Phoradendron leucarpum (Raf.) Reveal & M.C. Johnst. (Phoradendron serotinum (DC.) A. Gray; name change relative to TJM2 made necessary by ruling of Committee for Spermatophyta) collected in Texas for sale nationally in Christmas trade; other species similarly important locally. Plants at some sites (e.g., Pinnacles National Monument) do not conform to key(s) and/or descriptions, as to hosts and/or morphology (see Kuijt 2003); such problems thus far unsolved, though minimized here.

Key to Phoradendron

1. Leaf scale-like, < 1 mm

2. Stem canescent, especially at tip, ± red to green, rigid; spike with 1–3(7) fertile internodes; on Acacia, Cercidium, (Larrea), Olneya, Prosopis; < 1200 m ..... P. californicum

2' Stem glabrous, ± green or yellow-green, not rigid; spike with 1(2) fertile internodes; on Calocedrus, Juniperus; 1300–2600 m ..... P. juniperinum

1' Leaf with blade, generally 5–60 mm

3. Leaf length generally > 3 × width, (5)10–25 mm, generally < 20 mm; stem glabrous; spike with generally 1 fertile internode, pistillate 2-flowered; on conifers ..... P. bolleanum

3' Leaf length generally < 1.5 × width, 15–60 mm, generally > 20 mm; stem generally short-hairy, at least at tip; spike with 2–5(7) fertile internodes, pistillate 6–15(20)-flowered; on woody plants except conifers ..... P. leucarpum

4. Leaf <= 6 cm, width <= 5 cm; leaf yellow-green, generally shiny ..... subsp. macrophyllum

4' Leaf <= 3 cm, width <= 2 cm; leaf gray-green, dull ..... subsp. tomentosum


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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