Phoradendron leucarpum (Raf.) M.C. Johnst. ssp. tomentosum
(DC.) Kuijt

Oak mistletoe
Viscaceae (Mistletoe Family)

Oak mistletoe is a stout, green, parasitic perennial much branched with woody, rather brittle stems and covered with short, shaggy hairs.  The leaves are opposite, thick, ± dark green, obovate-elliptic, and 1-1/4" to 1-1/2" long.  Mistletoe is dioecious, with the inconspicuous staminate and pistillate flowers on separate plants.  The staminate inflorescence is a jointed spike with 25-30 flowers in each fertile internode, and the flowers have three sepals and sessile two-chambered anthers.  There are generally 10-15 flowers on each pistillate spike.  The fruit is a sessile, ovoid to globose berry that is pinkish white and about 3/16" in diameter.  This species of mistletoe is typically found on oak trees, sometimes on other broad-leaved trees such as Arctostaphylos, Adenostema, Rhus and Umbellularia.  The period of anthesis is mainly July to September.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Phoradendron 2) leucarpum 3) tomentosum.
Pronunciation: fore-a-DEN-dron lew-KAR-pum toe-men-TOE-sum.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.
Formerly Phoradendron serotinum ssp. tomentosum.


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