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Arceuthobium M. Bieb.

油杉寄生属

Description from Flora of China

Razoumofskya Hoffmann, nom. rej.

Subshrubs or herbs parasitic on gymnosperms, dioecious. Branches dichotomous or verticillate; stem internodes terete. Leaves reduced to scales, decussate, in 4 ranks, connate. Flowers axillary or terminal on branchlets, decussate or whorled; peduncle absent; pedicel short to nearly absent. Male flower subglobose or ovoid in mature bud; perianth lobes 3 or 4, ± rotate. Anthers sessile, inserted on perianth lobes, circular, 1-loculed, dehiscence transverse; central nectary present. Pollen grains subprolate, 3-lobed to circular in polar section. Female flower ovoid to ellipsoid in mature bud, epigynous; perianth tube short, 2-lobed, adnate to ovary, persistent. Placentation free, central. Style short; stigma obtuse. Berry ovoid or ellipsoid, apex different in texture from base, exocarp smooth, explosively dehiscent at maturity.

All members of this genus induce “witches’ brooms,” which cause their hosts to suffer retarded growth and eventually die.

About 45 species: temperate and tropical regions of NE Africa, Asia, S Europe, and North America; five species (three endemic) in China.


 

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