Loranthaceae (weeds)

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Loranthus europaeus mistletoe (click on image to enlarge it)
Author: Otto Wilhelm Thomé
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Loranthaceae - (mistletoes)

This family of mistletoes contains around 1,000 species and is widely distributed. It does not include the typical Christmas mistletoes of Europe and North America (e.g. the genus Viscum) which are placed in the family Santalaceae.

Loranthaceae are hemiparasites that are attached to woody plants, mainly their branches but sometimes also their roots. They obtain water, minerals and nutrients from their host but also have green leaves involved in photosynthesis. Several species are considered parasitic weeds of forest trees like Psittacanthus angustifolius a species which parasitizes pine tree in Central America.

The following genera are currently entered under this family: