Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Dendrophthoe curvata (Blume) Miq.

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Flowers. © CSIRO
Flowers. © CSIRO
Fruit. © CSIRO
Fruit. © CSIRO
© W. T. Cooper
Seedling. © CSIRO

Miquel, F.A.W. (1856) Fl. Ind. Bat. 1: 820.


Aerial stem-parasitic shrub. Epicortical runner present, attached by means of haustoria.


Leaf blades about 4-9 x 1.8-6 cm, petioles about 0.5-1.5 cm long. Venation, particularly the lateral veins, not particularly obvious.


Flowers borne in a raceme of 3-12 flowers, pedicels about 2-4 mm long. Inflorescence axis about 5-30 mm long. Calyx about 1 mm long, 5-lobed or without teeth. Perianth tube about 20-30 mm long, perianth lobes about 10-16 mm long. Calyx and corolla clothed in stalked, +/- stellate scales. Anthers about 4 mm long. Staminal filaments about 3 mm long. Ovary about 2.5-3 mm long. Style about 35 mm long. Stigma small. No locules or ovules visible in the ovary.


Fruits ellipsoidal, about 10-15 x 6.5-9 mm, calyx remnants persistent at the apex. Fruit surface often slightly scurfy. Seeds about 9-10 x 5 mm with five finger-like processes extending beyond the radicle, radicle green, often protruding from the fruit. Seeds immersed in a sticky translucent mucilage. Embryo green, about 6-7 mm long, radicle globular, cotyledons fused together.


At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blades about 5.5-8 x 1-3.2 cm, petioles about 0.5-0.7 cm long, apex acute to obtuse, base cuneate to attenuate. Runners present, attaching by means of haustoria. Seed germination time 18 to 146 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1200 m. Also found in Malesia and the Pacific islands. Parasitic on a wide range of rain forest plants. Frequently found as a parasite of citrus trees in NEQ.

Natural History & Notes

Food plant for the larval stage of the Black Jezabel, Scarlet Jezabel, Red-banded Jezabel, Silky Jewel, Northern Purple Azure and Trident Pencilled-blue Butterflies. Braby, M. (2000).

Loranthus curvatus Blume, Bijdr. : 665(1826), Type: Blume s. n., Java, Mt Salak; Holo: ?. Dendrophthoe falcata (L.f.) Ettingsh., Denkschr. Kaiserl. Akad. Wiss. Math.-Naturwiss. Kl. 32: 52(1872). Dendrophthoe discolor Barlow, Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 87: 55(1962), Type: Papua, Yule Is., July_Aug. 1918, C.T. White 736; Holo: BRI; Iso: NSW. Loranthus odontocalyx var. proprius Blakely, Proc. Roy. Soc. Queensland 34: 28(1922), Type: Papua, Yule Is., July_Aug. 1918, C.T. White 736; Holo: BRI; Iso: NSW. Loranthus falcatus L. f., Suppl. Pl. : 211(1782), Type: Madras, Konig; Holo: ?.
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