Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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Jepson Interchange (more information)
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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

VISCACEAE

MISTLETOE FAMILY

Frank G. Hawksworth and Delbert Wiens

Perennial, shrub, generally ± green, parasitic on aboveground parts of woody plants, dioecious or monoecious
Stem brittle; 2° branches generally many
Leaves simple, entire, opposite, 4-ranked, with blade or leaves scale-like (then each pair generally fused)
Inflorescence: spikes or open cymes, generally axillary, sometimes terminal; bracts opposite, 4-ranked, scale-like, each pair fused
Flower unisexual, radial, 2–4 mm; perianth parts in generally ± 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, gelatinous
Seeds 1(–2), without thickened coat
Genera in family: 7 genera, ± 450 species: tropical, generally n temp
Reference: [Kuijt 1982 J Arnold Arbor 63:401–410]
Sometimes included in Loranthaceae; parasitic on plants in many other families. Frs generally dispersed by birds or seeds explosively ejected. All parts of most members may be TOXIC.

ARCEUTHOBIUM

DWARF MISTLETOE

Perennial, shrub, glabrous, dioecious
Stem generally < 20 cm, ± angled, at least when young, yellow, straw, yellow-green, olive-green, green, brown, reddish, purple; 2° branches generally not whorled, generally in ± 1 plane
Leaf scale-like
Inflorescence: spikes, many-flowered, open or ± interrupted, short-peduncled; flowers generally opposite, 4-ranked, less often whorled
Staminate flower: perianth parts 3–4(7); anthers ± 1-chambered
Pistillate flower: perianth parts 2, persistent
Fruit generally 2–5 mm, ± compressed-spheric, 2-colored (1 color below, 1 above), dispersed by explosion, seeds projected < 15 m; pedicel short, recurved
Species in genus: ± 45 species: temp and tropical n hemisphere
Etymology: (Greek: juniper, life)
Most important timber pathogens, causing annual loss of many millions of dollars; most species cause abnormal branching (witches' brooms) in hosts
Reference: [Hawksworth & Wiens 1972 USDA Handbook No. 401]

Native

A. monticola Hawksw., Wiens & Nickrent


Stem 5–10 cm, 2–4 mm wide at base, dark brown to reddish
Seed mature Oct–Nov
Ecology: On P. monticola
Elevation: 700–1600 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges
Distribution outside California: to sw Oregon
Flowering time: Jul–Aug

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