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Vascular Plants of California
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Phoradendron californicum
DESERT MISTLETOE


Higher Taxonomy
Family: ViscaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Common Name: MISTLETOE FAMILY
Habit: 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.
Genera In Family: 7 genera, +- 450 species: tropics, generally northern temperate. Toxicity: All parts of most members may be TOXIC. Note: Sometimes included in Loranthaceae; parasitic on plants in many other families.
eFlora Treatment Author: Job Kuijt
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: PhoradendronView DescriptionDichotomous Key


Common Name: MISTLETOE
Habit: 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. Chromosomes: n=14.
Species In Genus: +- 240 species: temperate, tropical America. Etymology: (Greek: tree thief)
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.
eFlora Treatment Author: Job Kuijt
Reference: Abbott & Thompson 2011 J Bot Res Inst Texas 5:139--141; Kuijt 2003 Syst Bot Monogr 66:1--643
Phoradendron californicum Nutt.
NATIVE
Stem: 4--10 dm, erect to spreading, +- red to green, canescent, especially at tip, +- glabrous in age; internodes 13--28 mm. Leaf: < 1 mm, scale-like. Staminate Inflorescence: fertile internodes 1--3(6), 6--14-flowered. Pistillate Inflorescence: fertile internodes 1--3(7), 2(3)-flowered. Fruit: +- 3 mm, white to red-pink, glabrous.
Ecology: Desert, on Acacia, (Larrea), Olneya, Parkinsonia, Prosopis, Simmondsia; Elevation: < 1200 m. Bioregional Distribution: WTR, D; Distribution Outside California: Nevada, Arizona, Baja California. Flowering Time: Jan--Mar
Synonyms: Phoradendron californicum var. distans Trel.; Phoradendron californicum var. leucocarpum (Trel.) Jeps.
Jepson eFlora Author: Job Kuijt
Reference: Abbott & Thompson 2011 J Bot Res Inst Texas 5:139--141; Kuijt 2003 Syst Bot Monogr 66:1--643
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Botanical illustration including Phoradendron californicum

botanical illustration including Phoradendron californicum

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Citation for this treatment: Job Kuijt 2013, Phoradendron californicum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 1, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=37896, accessed on June 18, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/, accessed on June 18, 2019.

Phoradendron californicum
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© 1997 Christopher L. Christie
Phoradendron californicum
click for enlargement
© 2012 Keir Morse
Phoradendron californicum
click for enlargement
© 1997 Christopher L. Christie
Phoradendron californicum
click for enlargement
© 2010 Neal Kramer
Phoradendron californicum
click for enlargement
© 2012 Keir Morse
Phoradendron californicum
click for enlargement
© 2012 Keir Morse

More photos of Phoradendron californicum in CalPhotos



Geographic subdivisions for Phoradendron californicum:
WTR, D
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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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Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.