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Family Viscaceae

Description: Hemiparasitic aerial stem-parasitic shrubs, glabrous or stellate-hairy; haustorial attachment single, without external runners.

Leaves opposite, often reduced or apparently absent, entire, without stipules.

Flowers actinomorphic, unisexual and plants monoecious [or dioecious], 2–4-merous, small. Inflorescences cymes or flowers developing successively in clusters. Perianth in 1 whorl; tepals 2–4, triangular, valvate. Stamens 2–4, opposite tepals; anthers fused to tepals or to each other or free, 1- to many-locular, opening by pores. Ovary inferior, without differentiated loculi or ovules, surmounted by a nipple-like stigma.

Fruit berry-like, with a single seed surrounded by a viscous layer; endosperm present.


Distribution and occurrence: World: 7 gen., 400 spp., chiefly trop. regions. Aust.: 4 gen., 14 spp., all States.

External links:
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Santalaceae, Order: Santalales)
Wikipedia

Text by A. L. Quirico
Taxon concept:

 Key to the genera 
1Plants leafy2
Plants apparently leafless (minute scale-like leaves present on new growth)3
2Plants with a dense indumentum of dendritic and stellate hairs, especially on young parts; tepals persistent on fruitNotothixos
Plants with vegetative parts entirely glabrous; tepals not persistent on fruit
                       Back to 1
Viscum
3Fruit less than 2.5 mm long, with persistent tepals; flowers in clusters at nodes, separated by bractsKorthalsella
Fruit more than 3 mm long, without persistent tepals; flowers in axillary inflorescences, subtended by bracts
                       Back to 1
Viscum

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