Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Viscum acaciae Danser in Blumea 4: 298, t. 1. 1941; Sanjai & N.P.Balakr. in J. Econ. Taxon. Bot. 25: 18, f. 1. 2001.

Monoecious leafy evergreen herbaceous partial stem-parasites, drooping, up to 75 cm long; stems dichotomously branched; branches at each node 3 or 2; nodes slightly swollen; internodes gradually more delicate towards the apices, short. Leaves lanceolate or spathulate, tapering at base, rounded at apex, entire or slightly wavy along margins, with 3 distinct longitudinal veins, 1.5 - 7 x 0.5 - 2 cm; petioles 2 - 5 mm long. Inflorescence solitary, axillary, up to 6 at each node, cymose, 3 (- 5)-flowered; peduncles 3 - 7 mm long, bearing a navicular cup of bracts formed of 2 segments at its apex, each bract triangular, ca 3 x 2 mm, bearing a 3-flowered triad in it, the central flower large and female, the laterals male. Male flowers: wedge-shaped, sessile, ca 1.5 x 1 mm; perianth lobes 4, of two types, 2 larger and 2 smaller; larger lobes ca 1 x 0.7 mm, broadly ovate with broad base and rounded apex, bearing an anther on its inner surface; smaller perianth lobes ca 1 x 0.5 mm; stamens 2, sessile; anthers ca 0.7 x 0.7 mm, opening by pores;. Female flowers: sessile, oblong, clavate, ca 3 x 1 mm; perianth lobes 4, ca 1 x 0.7 mm, caudate; ovary inferior; style short; stigma globular. Fruits drupaceous, oblong, 5 - 8 x 3 - 5 mm, abruptly tapering at base into the stalk, smooth.

Fl. & Fr. Feb. - Aug.

Distrib. India: Karnataka.


Hosts. The usually noticed hosts are Acacia leucophloea and Santalum album. In Bangalore, this species was collected from Santalum album. In this case, Viscum acaciae was seen mimicking the leaf and stem of its host in appearance and it was very difficult to distinguish the parasite from the host. The host Santalum album had more or less lanceolate leaves, which is being mimicked by the parasite.

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