Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Viscum capitellatum Sm. in Rees, Cyclop. 37: Viscum no. 18. 1817; Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 5: 225. 1886, p. p.


Monoecious, evergreen, semi-parasitic herbs, up to 15 cm long, densely branched, decussate and divaricate at lower portions of the stem to more or less umbellate towards the apices; internodes terete, smooth, swollen at the nodes, ca 6 x 0.5 cm. Leaves partly normally developed, sessile, opposite, sometimes lacking or reduced to scales; normal leaves 1 - 2 x ca 0.5 cm, orbicular-ovate or spathulate, thick, entire. Inflorescence cymose, axillary, up to 6 at each node; peduncles up to 3 mm long, bearing a navicular bracteate cup at its apex with 3 (- 5) flowers, the central flower male, the laterals female. Male flowers: sessile, obovate, ca 2 x 1 mm; perianth lobes 2, with serrate margins; stamens 2, sessile; anthers 2-locular, attached to the inner surface of the perianth lobes, ca 0.8 x 0.8 mm. Female flowers: bracteolate, oblong, ca 2.5 x 1 mm; perianth lobes 3, free, subulate, ca 0.5 x 0.7 mm; ovary inferior; style very short; stigma conical. Fruit a drupe, ellipsoid or ovoid, smooth, shiny when fresh, distinctly constricted just below the perianth bearing a rim.

Fl. & Fr. Feb. - July.

Distrib. India: Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Sri Lanka.

Pollen. Rounded convex, almost spherical, subprolate, tricolporate, 32.9 - 27.5 μm (Feur & Kujit, Amer. J. Bot. 69: 1 - 12. 1982).

Hosts. The main hosts are Dendrophthoe falcata, Loranthus bracteatus, Loranthus tomentosus and Erythroxylon monogynum.




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