Arceuthobium pusillum Peck - Eastern Dwarf Mistletoe


 

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Arceuthobium pusillum - (image 1 of 3)

 

Taxonomy

Family: Viscaceae

Habitat

An obligate parasite of gymnosperms, mainly black spruce but also white pine and other conifers.

Associates

Picea mariana

Distribution

Newfoundland and Quebec west to MN and Saskatchewan, south to northern NJ, PA, and MI.

Morphology

Stem to 1 cm or a little more, simple or with a few opposite branches; green brown. Leaves scale-like, tiny, roundish. Plants dioecious. Fruit a berry on a short, recurved pedicel.

Notes

Flowers April to May

Wetland Indicator: NA

This tiny plant is parasitic, primarily on black spruce and less often on white spruce or occasionally on other conifers. It does not produce chlorophyll and obtains nutrition via a specialized root called a haustorium, which penetrates the vascular system of the host. The fruits are forcefully released when mature and are sticky, allowing them to adhere to nearby trees or to animals.

References

Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY

 

Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.

 


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Michael Hough 2004