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VISCACEAE MISTLETOE FAMILY

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

PHORADENDRON MISTLETOE
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.
n=14.
± 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

P. leucarpum (Raf.) Reveal & M.C. Johnst. AMERICAN MISTLETOE
NATIVE
Stem: erect to spreading, green, generally short-hairy, at least at tip, ± glabrous in age; internodes 15–59 mm. Leaf: 15–60 mm, 10–25 mm wide, obovate to elliptic-round, ± petioled or not, ± glabrous to densely short-hairy. Staminate inflorescence: fertile internodes 2–5(7), generally 25–35-flowered. Pistillate inflorescence: fertile internodes 2–4(5), 6–15(20)-flowered. Fruit: 4–5 mm, white, pink-tinged or not, glabrous to short-hairy near tip. [Phoradendron serotinum (Raf.) M.C. Johnst.] 2 other subspecies, in southeastern United States, Mexico. [Online Interchange]

P. leucarpum subsp. tomentosum (DC.) J.R. Abbott & R.L. Thomps.
NATIVE
Stem: generally <= 80 cm. Leaf: <= 3 cm, width <= 2 cm, gray-green, dull.
Generally on Quercus, rarely on Adenostoma, Arctostaphylos, Rhus, Umbellularia; 60–2100 m. Klamath Ranges, North Coast Ranges, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, Great Central Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast Ranges, South Coast, Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges, Mojave Desert; to northern Oregon, Texas, Mexico. [Phoradendron serotinum (Raf.) M.C. Johnst. subsp. tomentosum (DC.) Kuijt; Phoradendron villosum (Nutt.) Engelm.] Jul–Sep [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Oct 20 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Phoradendron, Revision 1, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=98416, accessed on Oct 20 2014

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Phoradendron leucarpum subsp. tomentosum 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.
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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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CCH collections by month

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