Flora of China
  FOC Vol.5 (2003)              | Family List  Loranthaceae  PDF     | Link Font:+ Big | - Small
   Loranthaceae  A. L. Jussieu
桑寄生科   sang ji sheng ke
Authors:Qiu Huaxing (邱华兴 Chiu Hua-hsing, Kiu Hua-xing) ; Michael G. Gilbert


Shrubs, usually aerial hemiparasites on other seed plants, often spreading along host by runners (epicortical roots), more rarely terrestrial root-parasitic shrubs or trees, nodes not articulated, glabrous or hairy, hairs often stellate or verticillate. Leaves opposite or alternate, stipules absent; petiole often indistinct; leaf blade simple, usually pinnately veined, margin entire. Inflorescences terminal or axillary, racemes, spikes, or umbels (sometimes condensed into heads); bracts usually inconspicuous, sometimes forming conspicuous involucre (in Tolypanthus). Flowers usually bisexual, rarely unisexual (plants dioecious), 4-6-merous, actinomorphic or zygomorphic, often conspicuous. Calyx adnate to the ovary, limb annular to cupular, entire or shortly toothed, persistent. Petals usually 4-6, free or connate, valvate. Disk usually inconspicuous to ± absent. Stamens as many as petals, opposite and adnate to them; anthers mostly basifixed, sometimes dorsifixed, 2-4-loculed, dehiscence longitudinal, locules sometimes with many transverse divisions so as to be multilocellate. Pollen oblate or suboblate, usually trilobate, or triangular. Ovary inferior, 1- or 3- or 4-loculed, without true ovules, embryo sacs originating from a central column or at the ovary base, integument absent. Style simple; stigma small. Fruit a berry (rarely a drupe or capsule), with a viscin layer (sticky mucilaginous tissue) outside the vascular bundles. Seed 1; testa absent; endosperm copious; embryo large.

Between 60 and 68 genera and 700–950 species: primarily in tropical and subtropical regions; eight genera and 51 species (18 endemic) in China.

Some species, including Macrosolen cochinchinensis, Scurrula parasitica, and several species of Taxillus, are used medicinally. Some species, particularly Scurrula parasitica and related species, can be troublesome parasites of fruit trees and other cultivated woody plants.

Kiu Hua-shing. 1988. Loranthoideae. In: Kiu Hua-shing & Ling Yeou-ruenn, eds., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 24: 87–139.

1Each flower subtended by 1 bract and 2 bracteoles; flowers 6-merous, corolla lobes connate more than 1/2 length; ovary incompletely 3-loculed.(2)
+Each flower subtended by 1 bract; flowers 4-6-merous, if 6-merous then corolla lobes free; ovary 1-loculed.(3)
2(1)Bract not keeled; bracteoles often connate; inflorescences of short racemes or spikes, rarely umbels.1  Macrosolen    鞘花属
+Bract keeled; bracteoles distinct; inflorescences of spikes, flowers sunken into rachis.2  Elytranthe    大苞鞘花属
3(1)Corolla lobes free; inflorescences of spikes or racemes, sometimes reduced to a pair of flowers.(4)
+Corolla lobes connate into tube, often split on 1 side; inflorescences of umbels, racemes, or spikes.(5)
4(3)Flowers sessile, 5- or 6-merous; corolla greenish, yellowish, or white, 1.5-3.5(-5) mm; anthers ovoid or biglobose, sometimes absent.3  Loranthus    桑寄生属
+Flowers sessile or pedicellate, 4-6-merous; corolla red, pink, orange, or yellowish, (3-)5-12 mm; anthers ellipsoid.4  Helixanthera    离瓣寄生属
5(3)Flowers 5-merous, actinomorphic.(6)
+Flowers 4-merous, zygomorphic.(7)
6(5)Bracts 12-27 mm, broader than flowers, forming an involucre around the inflorescence.8  Tolypanthus    大苞寄生属
+Bracts 1-1.5 mm, shorter than calyx, not forming an involucre.5  Dendrophthoë    五蕊寄生属
7(5)Calyx pyriform or turbinate, base attenuate; fruit base narrow or long attenuate.6  Scurrula    梨果寄生属
+Calyx ellipsoid or ovoid, rarely subglobose, base not attenuate; fruit base rounded.7  Taxillus    钝果寄生属
   Lower Taxon
  • Dendrophthoe  Martius  五蕊寄生属
  • Elytranthe  (Blume) Blume  大苞鞘花属
  • Helixanthera  Loureiro  离瓣寄生属
  • Loranthus  Jacquin  桑寄生属
  • Macrosolen  (Blume) Blume  鞘花属
  • Scurrula  Linnaeus  梨果寄生属
  • Taxillus  Tieghem  钝果寄生属
  • Tolypanthus  (Blume) Blume  大苞寄生属