Description: Hemiparasitic, terrestrial, root-parasitic shrubs or trees, or aerial, stem-parasitic shrubs.
Leaves mostly opposite.
Inflorescence a lateral umbel or raceme, with the inflorescence unit in many genera a 3-flowered dichasium (triad). Flowers usually actinomorphic or slightly zygomorphic, bisexual or rarely unisexual, mostly 4–6-merous. Calyx lobed or truncate, limb at apex of inferior ovary. Corolla free or fused, valvate, petaloid, often with a small fringe (the calyculus) below the perianth. Stamens the same number as and opposite to and fused to the petals; anthers mostly basifixed, sometimes dorsifixed and versatile. Ovary inferior, 1–many-locular, without developed ovules, producing several egg cells in the ± solid ovary tissue.
Fruit mostly succulent, berry-like, viscous layer outside vascular bundles; seed solitary.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 65 genera, c. 900 species, cosmopolitan. Australia: 10 genera, 65 species, all States.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Loranthaceae, Order: Santalales)
Text by A. L. Quirico
| ||Key to the genera|| |
|1||Terrestrial shrubs, parasitic upon the roots of other plants||Atkinsonia|
|Parasitic shrubs on the branches of trees or shrubs||2|
|2||Inflorescences terminal (sometimes on short lateral stems and then seemingly axillary)||Muellerina|
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|3||Flowers in heads, enclosed in 2 enlarged foliaceous bracts fused at margins over buds during development||Diplatia|
|Inflorescence various; flowers not enclosed in enlarged leafy bracts|
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|4||Petals free or very shortly fused at the base. Flowers arranged in an umbel of 1 to 3 triads or umbels||Amyema|
|Petals fused into a tube for the greater part of their length|
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|5||Leaves mostly alternate or scattered; inflorescence a raceme of single flowers||Dendrophthoe|
|Leaves opposite or clustered; inflorescence a simple umbel or a raceme of triads|
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|6||Corolla 5-merous, deeply split on one side, lobes and stamens reflexed to one side||Benthamina|
|Corolla 6-merous, lobes and stamens not reflexed to one side|
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|7||Runners present; corolla tube straight; inflorescence a raceme of triads||Amylotheca|
|Runners absent; corolla tube curved; inflorescence a simple umbel|
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