Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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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.
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)
Jepson eFlora Author: Job Kuijt
Reference: [Hawksworth & Scharpf 1987 Eur J Forest Pathol 16:1--5]
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Citation for this treatment: Job Kuijt 2012, Viscum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 15, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 15, 2024.