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Viscum album

Higher Taxonomy
Family: ViscaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

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: ViscumView Description 

Common Name: MISTLETOE
Habit: 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.
Species In Genus: +- 125 species: temperate, tropics, Old World. Etymology: (Latin: from viscid seed cover)

Viscum album L.
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. Chromosomes: n=10.
Ecology: On Acer, Alnus, Betula, Crataegus, Malus, Populus, Robinia, Salix, Ulmus, other deciduous trees; Elevation: 60--100 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCoRO (Sebastopol, Santa Rosa, Sonoma Co.); Distribution Outside California: native to Eurasia. Flowering Time: Feb--Mar Note: Introduced to California by Luther Burbank, +- 1900, sometimes sold locally in Christmas trade.
eFlora Treatment Author: Job Kuijt
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Noxious Weed

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Citation for this treatment: Job Kuijt 2016. Viscum album, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 04, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 04, 2016.

Geographic subdivisions for Viscum album:
NCoRO (Sebastopol, Santa Rosa, Sonoma Co.);
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.