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Viscaceae Batsch

槲寄生科 hu ji sheng ke

Description from Flora of China

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.

(Authors: Qiu Huaxing (邱华兴 Chiu Hua-hsing, Kiu Hua-xing) ; Michael G. Gilbert)

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


 

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