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Phoradendron leucarpum (Oak mistletoe)
Cressler, Alan

Phoradendron leucarpum

Phoradendron leucarpum (Raf.) Reveal & M.C. Johnst.

Oak Mistletoe, Mistletoe

Viscaceae (Christmas Mistletoe Family)

Synonym(s): Phoradendron eatonii, Phoradendron flavescens, Phoradendron flavescens var. orbiculatum, Phoradendron macrotomum, Phoradendron serotinum, Phoradendron serotinum var. macrotomum, Viscum flavescens

USDA Symbol: PHLE14

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Semi-parasitic shrub with short, interrupted, axillary clusters of tiny yellow flowers on smooth, green, jointed stems.

This is the common Mistletoe hung at Christmastime. The genus name derives from the Greek phor "a thief," and "dendron" "tree," and refers to their getting at least some nourishment from the trees on which they grow. The fruits are covered with a sticky substance poisonous to man, but relished by such birds as cedar waxwings and bluebirds. The birds spread the seeds through their droppings and by wiping their beaks on branches, where a new plant may become established. The small, northern Dwarf Mistletoe (Arceuthobium pusillum), has short yellow-green stems 1" (2.5 cm) long, with leaves reduced to thin brown scales.


From the Image Gallery

8 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Subshrub

Bloom Information

Bloom Time: Sep , Oct


USA: AL , AR , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
Native Distribution: New Jersey and Pennsylvania south to Florida and west to West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and eastern Texas.
Native Habitat: Parasitic on branches of deciduous trees exposed to sun.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Phoradendron leucarpum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Phoradendron leucarpum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Phoradendron leucarpum


Record Modified: 2018-11-26
Research By: TWC Staff

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