Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Notothixos subaureus Oliv.

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Flowers [not vouchered]. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Fruit [not vouchered]. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Flowers. © CSIRO

Oliver, D. (1863) Journal Linnaen Society Botany 7: 103. Type: Brisbane R., July 1855, F. Mueller; Lecto: K; Iso: MEL; Moreton Bay,july 1855,F.Mueller; Syn K, MEL; Lake Macquarie, Backhouse; Syn: K.

Common name

Golden Mistletoe


Leaf blades about 2.5-5.7 x 1.5-3 cm, petioles about 0.3-0.5 mm long. All young vegetative parts densely clothed in short dentritic, silver or white hairs. Leaf blades 3-veined but the venation rather obscure. Older leaves almost glabrous on the upper surface, lower surface clothed in hairs.


Inflorescence and flower buds clothed in dentritic hairs, each hair resembling a miniature pine tree. Flowers borne in cymules of 5-8 flowers. Flowers small, tepals (corolla lobes) about 0.5-0.7 mm long. Male flowers: Disk green and fleshy. Anthers less than 0.25 mm long. Staminal filaments lass than 0.25 mm long. Anther locules difficult to differentiate, opening by way of numerous pores. Pollen white or cream-yellow. Female flowers: Flowers about 2 mm diam. Disk green, covering the surface of the ovary. Ovary (hypanthium) about 1.5 mm long. Style absent or very short, style + stigma no more than 0.25 mm long. No locules or ovules visible in the ovary.


Fruits globular, about 4-5 mm diam., tepals about 0.5-0.7 mm long, persistent at the apex. Fruits clothed in branched or plumose hairs each resembling a miniature pine tree. Seeds immersed in a sticky, transparent mucilage. Seeds flattened, about 2.5-4.5 x 2-2.5 mm, testa marked by a reticulation of narrow white lines. endosperm pale green, embryo darker green. Embryo about 1.6-1.6 x 0.4 mm. Cotyledons about 0.5 mm long and not as wide as the radicle.


At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade 3-veined, about 2.5-3.5 x 1.3-2.5 cm, petioles about 2-3 mm long. All plant parts clothed in silver or grey hairs. Seed germination time 250 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic Australia. Occurs in CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as Victoria. Altitudinal range in CYP and NEQ from near sea level to 1100 m.

Natural History & Notes

Parasitic on a variety of rain forest plants particularly in Rutaceae, Lauraceae and Loranthaceae.

Notothixos incanus var. subaureus (Oliver) C. Moore & Betche, Handb. Fl. New South Wales : 227(1893). Notothixos cornifolius var. subaureus (Oliver) Bailey, Syn. Queensland Fl. : 452(1883). Viscum incanum var. aureum Ettingsh., Akad. Wiss. Wien. Math. -Naturwiss. Kl. Denkschr. : 58(1871), Type: not designated; Iso: ? W. Notothixos subaureus var. cinereus Blakely, Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 53: 42(1928), Type: Queensland, Kuranda,1908, N. Michael 609; Holo: NSW; Iso: BRI.
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