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Viscaceae Batsch

槲寄生科 hu ji sheng ke

Authors: Huaxing Qiu & Michael G. Gilbert

Shrubs or herbs, sometimes aerial hemiparasites on other seed plants, never with external runners, sometimes spreading within host (in Arceuthobium); nodes articulated, often enlarged, glabrous, except sometimes inflorescences. Leaves opposite, often reduced to scales; stipules absent; petiole often indistinct; leaf blade, when present, simple, mostly palmately 3-5-veined, margin entire. Inflorescences terminal or axillary, in spikes or cymes, sometimes a solitary flower; bracts inconspicuous. Flowers unisexual (plants dioecious or monoecious), (2-)3-4-merous, actinomorphic, minute (1-4 mm). Perianth lobes free, valvate. Disk absent. Stamens opposite to perianth lobes, adnate or free; anthers 1-many-loculed, sometimes connate into synandria, dehiscence longitudinal or by several pores. Pollen spheric. Ovary absent in male flowers, inferior in female flowers, 1-loculed, without true ovules, embryo sacs originating from a short placental column, integument absent. Style simple or absent; stigma small. Fruit a berry, with a viscin layer (sticky mucilaginous tissue) inside vascular bundles. Seed 1; testa absent; endosperm starchy; embryo rather large.

About seven genera and 350 species: mainly tropical and subtropical regions; three genera and 18 species (seven endemic) in China.

Kiu Hua-shing. 1988. Viscoideae. In: Kiu Hua-shing & Ling Yeou-ruenn, eds., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 24: 139–158.

1 Stems 15-80 cm; leaves well developed or reduced to scales; anthers dehiscent by numerous pores; fruit 4 mm or more, indehiscent.   3 Viscum
+ Stems 2-15(-20) cm; leaves reduced to scales; anthers dehiscent by single slit or fused into synandrium with single apical pore; fruit mostly less than 4 mm (to 6 mm in Arceuthobium chinense), explosively dehiscent.   (2)
2 (1) Stem internodes flattened; scale leaves in 2 ranks; flowers subtended by hairs; anthers fused into synandrium; plants parasitic on angiosperms.   1 Korthalsella
+ Stem internodes terete; scale leaves decussate, in 4 ranks; flowers not subtended by hairs; anthers separate; plants parasitic on gymnosperms.   2 Arceuthobium

Lower Taxa


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