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Species of the month[edit]

Oak Mistletoe[edit]

Phoradendron leucarpum

Phoradendron leucarpum (Raf.) Reveal & M.C.Johnst. Taxon 38: 107 (1989).

Some facts about this plant:

Distribution: It is native to the United States and Mexico.
Protection status: Not evaluated.
Etymology: The Greek generic name Phoradendron means "carried upon the tree" and leucarpum refers to their white fruit.

Oak Mistletoe is a hemiparasitic plant with leathery and thick, opposite leaves. While it can photosynthesize like a normal plant, it has no true ground roots. Instead, like other mistletoes it attaches itself to the branches of trees and relies on tube-like hypocotyledonous stems (hypocotyls) to take water and mineral nutrients from the host. Over 60 species of trees are hosts to Phoradendron leucarpum, especially trees in the genera of Acer (maples), Fraxinus (ash), Juglans (walnuts), Nyssa (pepperidge trees), Platanus (plane trees), Populus, (poplars) Quercus (oaks), Salix (willows), and Ulmus (elms).