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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Loranthaceae | Viscum

Viscum articulatum Burm. f.


Description from Flora of China

Aspidixia articulata (N. L. Burmann) Tieghem; Viscum articulatum var. dichotomum (D. Don) Kurz; V. dichotomum D. Don (1825), not Bertero ex Sprengel (1824); V. nepalense Sprengel.

Subshrubs often epiparasitic, monoecious, usually becoming pendulous, green, 20-50 cm tall. Branches opposite and decussate or dichotomous, flattened; internodes 1.5-2.5(-4) cm × 2-3(-3.5) mm, longitudinally 3-ridged. Leaves reduced to pairs of ± scarious scales. Inflorescences axillary, cymes 1-3 together; peduncle ± absent; 3-flowered, central flower female, lateral flowers male and often lacking; bracts 2, coalescent, forming a navicular involucre, ca. 1.5 mm. Male flowers globose in bud, 0.5-1 mm; perianth lobes 4. Female flower ellipsoid in bud, 1-1.5 mm; bract annular; perianth lobes 4, triangular, ca. 0.5 mm. Stigma cushion-shaped. Berry whitish or greenish white, globose, 3-4 mm in diam., smooth, base rounded. Fl. and fr. Jan-Dec.

The plants are epiparasitic on Dendrophthoë pentandra, Macrosolen cochinchinensis, Scurrula parasitica, and Taxillus chinensis; rarely, they are parasitic on Bischofia javanica and species of Castanopsis, Dendrotrophe, and Lauraceae.

This species is recognized here in a rather wide sense for all plants without normal leaves and with distinctly flattened internodes, and globose, greenish white berries, including plants differing widely in stem width, from forms matching the type of Viscum nepalense with internodes to 12 mm wide, to more typical forms with internodes less than 3.5 mm wide. More detailed study of populations in the field could identify more taxa than are currently recognized.

Forests, plains, mountain slopes; 100-1200(-1700) m. Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Yunnan [S and SE Asia, Australia].


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