Showy Mistletoe

Plicosepalus (?)

a Loranthaceae, possibly Plicosepalus, photo © by Michael Plagens

Parasitic in a tree off Magadi Road near Olorgasailie, Kenya, Africa. December 2014.

These plants are attached directly to the branches of their host tree and a root system known as a haustorium penetrates into the xylem. Water and nutrients are drawn from the host, but this hemiparasite also has green, photosynthetic leaves to produce it's own carbohydrates. Some shoots erupting from the host plant stems bear only flowers making it appear that they belong to the host!

parasitic Plicosepalus from Rift Valley Highlands, photo © Michael Plagens

Loranthaceae -- a Mistletoe Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, Created on 01 Oct. 2015,
updated 12 Sept. 2018.