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Desert Mistletoe

Phoradendron californicum


The plants are dioecious with tiny, inconspicuous, yellowish flowers. The female plants produce numerous, spherical, translucent, white, pink, or red berries that are adored by fruit-eating birds, especially Phainopeplas (Phainopepla nitens). Birds are responsible for spreading and "planting" the seeds in their droppings. The leaves are tiny and scale-like. The stems are green. These aerial hemiparasites grow on the branches of woody shrubs and trees. The main host plants are Acacia, Olneya, Parkinsonia, and Prosopis species, which are desert trees and shrubs in the Pea Family.


Tree in Tucson.

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Spotted by

Tucson, Arizona, USA

Spotted on Nov 5, 2012
Submitted on Nov 24, 2012

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