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Key to families | Table of families and genera

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Job Kuijt

Perennial herb, shrub, generally ± green, parasitic on aboveground parts of woody plants; dioecious [monoecious]. Stem: brittle; 2° branches generally many. Leaf: simple, entire, opposite, 4-ranked, with blade or scale-like (then each pair generally fused). Inflorescence: spikes or cymes, axillary or terminal; bracts opposite, 4-ranked, scale-like, each pair fused. Flower: unisexual, radial, 2–4 mm; perianth parts in 1 series. Staminate flower: perianth parts 3–4(7); anthers generally sessile, opposite and generally on perianth parts. Pistillate flower: perianth parts generally 2–4; ovary inferior, 1-chambered, style unbranched, stigma ± obscure. Fruit: berry, shiny. Seed: 1(2), without thickened coat, gelatinous.
7 genera, ± 450 species: tropics, generally northern temperate. All parts of most members may be TOXIC. [Kuijt 2003 Syst Bot Monogr 66:1–643] Sometimes included in Loranthaceae; parasitic on plants in many other families. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Kuijt 1969 Biol Parasitic Fl Plants; Kuijt 1982 J Arnold Arbor 63:401–410; Kuijt 2003 Syst Bot Monogr 66:1–643]

Key to Viscaceae

Shrub, glabrous, evergreen. Stem: generally < 20 cm, rounded, green, less often ± red; 2° branches opposite or whorled. Leaf: with blade. Inflorescence: few-flowered cyme, dense, subtended by pair of fused bracts; peduncle 0 or short. Flower: perianth parts generally 4. Staminate flower: anthers several-chambered, cushion-like. Pistillate flower: perianth parts generally deciduous. Fruit: 6–10 mm, spheric, white in California, bird-dispersed; pedicel short, ± straight, or 0.
± 125 species: temperate, tropics, Old World. (Latin: from viscid seed cover) [Hawksworth & Scharpf 1987 Eur J Forest Pathol 16:1–5]

Stem: internodes ± 3–8 cm. Leaf: generally 5–8 cm, ± 1.5 cm wide, narrowly obovate, fleshy; petiole short to ± 0 or indistinct. Inflorescence: 3–5-flowered. Fruit: glabrous.
n=10. On Acer, Alnus, Betula, Crataegus, Malus, Populus, Robinia, Salix, Ulmus, other deciduous trees; 60–100 m. Outer North Coast Ranges (Sebastopol, Santa Rosa, Sonoma Co.); native to Eurasia. Introduced to California by Luther Burbank, ± 1900, sometimes sold locally in Christmas trade. Feb–Mar {Noxious weed} [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 29 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Viscum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 29 2015

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click for enlargement Viscum album
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2005 Dr. Amadej Trnkoczy

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Viscum album Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.