Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Viscum articulatum Burm.f.

Click/tap on images to enlarge
Fruit. © CSIRO
Flowers, Fruit. © CSIRO

Burman, N.L. (1768) Fl. Indica : 211. Type: Java; Holo: ?.


Stem internodes 4-angled or 4-ribbed (at least when young), about 8-37 x 1-4 mm with a distinct 'midrib'. Usually parasitising Loranthaceae, Viscaceae or Santalaceae. Plants pendulous, up to about 1 m long.


Leaves absent or very small. Internodes about 1.5-4 x 0.2-0.3 cm.


Base of each flower surrounded by bracts. Flowers small. about 1 mm diam. Tepals (corolla lobes) about 0.5 mm long, slightly recurved at anthesis. Anthers sessile. Anthers with numerous ill-defined locules. Ovary (hypanthium) about 1 mm long. No locules of ovules visible in the ovary.


Fruits almost translucent, sessile, globular, about 3.5-5 mm diam. Tepals not persistent. Seeds green, flattened about 2.5-4 x 2.5-3 mm. Testa translucent sometimes marked by white lines and sometimes with an attached sticky hair. Endosperm green but paler than the embryo. Embryo green, lateral, about 1.3-2 x 0.4-0.5 mm. Cotyledons about 0.6-0.7 mm long, narrower or much narrower than the radicle.


Features not available.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards as far as southern coastal NSW. Altitudinal range in north Australia from near sea level to 1100 m. Usually parasitic on Loranthaceae or other Santalaceae, in broad range of vegetation communities including open forest, rain forest and vine thickets.

Natural History & Notes

Grows as a parasite on other parasites particularly Loranthaceae, also on Exocarpos.

May have medicinal properties.

Aspidixia articulata (Burm. f.) Tieghem, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 43: 193(1896). Viscum angulatum Heyne ex DC., Flora Australiensis 3: 396(1867). Viscum angulatum Heyne ex DC., Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 53: 47(1928), Type: ?.
RFK Code
Copyright © CSIRO 2020, all rights reserved.