Viscum sp (?)

a Santalaceae, possibly Viscum, photo © by Michael Plagens

Parasitic on a small sumac tree (Anacardiaceae) in the seasonally dry woodland near Marigat, Kerio Valley, Kenya, Africa. October 2010.

The mistletoe family is sometimes combined with the sandalwood family. Mistletoes are unusual in that they are hemiparasites of other trees and shrubs. There leaves are green for sure and they carry on their own photosynthesis. But water and minerals are drawn from the host by means of hausteria, essentially roots that penetrate the xylem within.

Species identification often relies on knowing the host association, i.e. the name of the plant that the mistletoe is growing in.

Viscaceae -- Mistletoe Family
(Santalaceae -- Sandalwood Family)

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, Created on 9 June 2011,
updated 12 Sept. 2018.