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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 5 | Viscaceae

3. Viscum Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 1023. 1753.

槲寄生属 hu ji sheng shu

Shrubs parasitic, monoecious or dioecious. Branches opposite, dichotomous, or verticillate; internodes terete or flattened with successive internodes at right angles to each other. Leaves well developed or reduced to scales. Inflorescences axillary or terminal, 1-7-flowered cymes; peduncle short to nearly absent; bracts in pairs, connate, boatlike, forming a navicular involucre, or 1 or 2 beneath each flower. Pedicel absent. Male flower ovoid or ellipsoid in mature bud; perianth lobes usually 4. Anthers sessile, adnate to perianth lobes, rarely connate into synandrium, rotund or elliptic, multiloculed, dehiscence by numerous pores. Pollen grains subspheric to prolate, trilobate-circular in cross section. Female flower ovoid to ellipsoid in mature bud; perianth lobes (3 or)4, usually deciduous. Placentation basal. Style short or absent; stigma nipple-shaped or cushion-shaped. Berry globose, ovoid, or ellipsoid, exocarp smooth or verrucose, indehiscent, usually dispersed by birds.

About 70 species: temperate and tropical regions of the Old World; 12 species (four endemic) in China.

1 Plants dioecious; inflorescences terminal, with stems usually branching immediately below.   (2)
+ Plants monoecious; inflorescences axillary, rarely also terminal at the tips of branchlets.   (5)
2 (1) Leaves reduced, scale-like, 0.5-1 mm; male cymes 3-5-flowered.   4 V. nudum
+ Leaves well developed, 2-7 cm; male cymes 3-flowered.   (3)
3 (2) Leaf blade linear, 0.1-0.4 cm wide, veins indistinct; fruit ovoid, greenish, ca. 4 mm in diam.   3 V. fargesii
+ Leaf blade not linear, over 0.7 cm wide, 3-5-veined; fruit globose or ellipsoid, yellowish, orange, reddish, or red, 6-8 mm in diam.   (4)
4 (3) Leaf blade elliptic or oblong-lanceolate, 0.7-1.5(-2) cm wide; fruit globose, yellowish, orange, reddish, or red, 6-8 mm in diam.   1 V. coloratum
+ Leaf blade usually obovate, 1.5-2.5 cm wide; fruit ellipsoid, yellow, ca. 6 mm in diam.   2 V. album subsp. meridianum
5 (1) Leaves well developed; base of fruit rounded or contracted into stipe.   (6)
+ Leaves reduced, scale-like; base of fruit rounded.   (9)
6 (5) Cymes 3-flowered, central flower female and lateral flowers male, adventitious flowers absent; fruit subglobose, base contracted into a ca. 1 mm stalk, tuberculate.   9 V. ovalifolium
+ Cymes (3-)5-7-flowered, outermost flowers adventitious; fruit ellipsoid, subglobose, or obovoid, base rounded, smooth.   (7)
7 (6) Cymes 5-7-flowered, central flower male, lateral 4-6 flowers female; fruit ellipsoid, base rounded, apex obtuse.   5 V. yunnanense
+ Cymes 3-7-flowered, central 1-3 flowers female, lateral 2-4 flowers male; fruit ellipsoid, subglobose, or obovoid; base rounded or contracted.   (8)
8 (7) Fruit ellipsoid, base slightly rounded; leaf blade elliptic to lanceolate, sometimes falcate.   6 V. monoicum
+ Fruit subglobose or obovoid, base contracted into a slender, 2-4 mm stalk; leaf blade lanceolate or falcate, rarely oblong-ovate.   7 V. multinerve
9 (5) Stem internodes flattened, longitudinally 3-7-ridged, usually over 2.5 mm wide.   (10)
+ Stem internodes subterete or terete, to 2.5 mm wide.   (11)
10 (9) Fruit globose, 3-4 mm in diam., whitish or greenish white; often epiparasitic on species of Loranthaceae.   10 V. articulatum
+ Fruit ellipsoid, sometimes ovoid, 4-5 mm in diam., reddish or yellow; never epiparasitic.   12 V. liquidambaricola
11 (9) Seedling with 2-3 pairs of leaves; branchlets flattened; fruit ellipsoid or ovoid, 4-5 mm, smooth.   11 V. diospyrosicola
+ Seedling leafless; branchlets and branchlets rounded; fruit subglobose 3-4 mm, slightly verruculose.   8 V. loranthi

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