Parasitic Weeds of Jordan: Species, Hosts, Distribution and Management

Volume: 1

Mistletoes (Loranthus spp.)

Author(s): Jamal Ragheb Said Qasem

Pp: 146-211 (66)

DOI: 10.2174/9781681088778122020009

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


The common name for the stem parasites- Mistletoe has a misleading tendency in the taxonomy of Loranthus (Family Loranthaceae) and Viscum (Family Viscaceae) (Steuber, undated). Sometimes Viscum species are referred to as the dwarf mistletoes to distinguish them from the genus Loranthus. Dwarf mistletoes are smaller plants than broadleaf mistletoes, with mature stems less than 6 to 8 inches long. However, both genera are related not only in gross morphology but also in the category of host attacked, and in fact, they fall under the order Santalales (Table 2.1.1). The Santalales cover 2000 species in 11 families and mostly occur in the tropics. The three most primitive families contain tree or bush-like plants. The representatives of the remaining, however, are half-parasites or parasites. Half-parasites are those with green pigments, whose hosts provide only water and feed salts, vitamins, and phytohormones (Steuber, undated). Mistletoes are highly specialized perennial flowering plants adapted to parasitic life on aerial parts of their hosts (Glatzel and Geils, 2009). 

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