Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Arceuthobium oxycedri (DC.) M.Bieb., Fl. Taur.-Caucas. Suppl. 3(4): 629. 1819; R.Parker, Fl. Pl. Punjab 440. 1918; Naithani in Fl. Pl. India, Nepal & Bhutan 370. 1990. Viscum oxycedri DC., Fl. Franc., ed. 3, 4: 274. 1805.

Small tufted evergreen glabrous dioecious, partial stem-parasites, up to 10 cm high, entirely glabrous. usually verticillately branched; branches jointed; basal shoots 1 - 4 mm across; internodes terete, 5 - 9 x ca 1 mm; often markedly wider at the top than at the base. Leaves reduced to triangular connate scales forming a small cup-like sheath at nodes. Male flowers: sessile, 1.5 - 2.5 mm across; perianth mostly 3-merous, occasionally 4-merous and rarely 2- merous; anthers unilocular, opening by an aperture. Female flowers: pedicellate, 1 or 2 together, usually 3-partite; ovary inferior; style short; stigma minute. Fruit a berry, ovoid; mature fruit ca 3 x 1.5 - 2 mm.

Fl. & Fr. June - Sept.

Distrib. India: Western Himalayas in Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and hills of Uttarakhand (Garhwal region). This is the most common widespread species of the genus.

Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, China, Russia, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Germany, Spain, Morocco and France.

Notes. The plant is important medicinally, having properties more or less similar to that of Viscum album. It is usually parasitic on the genera Juniperus. Cupressus, Thuja and Platycladus. A. oxycedri damages Juniper forests in many areas. Jamal & Beg (Natural infection of mistletoes in Pakistan. In: Proc. Pakistan Forestry Congress: 1975 November 4 - 8, 187 - 189) reported 50% tree mortality in the host Juniperus macropoda.

Chromosome number. n = 13 - 17 (Pisek, A. Akad. Wiss. Wien Math.- Nat. Kl. Sitzber. Abt., 133: 1 - 15. 1924).

Hosts. Juniperus oxycedrus, J. excelsa, J. macropoda, Cupressus macropoda, etc.

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