Scientific Name: Arceuthobium vaginatum
Common Names: Pineland Dwarf Mistletoe, Pine Dwarf Mistletoe, Southwestern Dwarf-mistletoe
Growth Habit: Shrub, Subshrub, Parasite
Arizona Native Status: Native
Habitat: Mountain. This parasitic plant is found in mountain forests growing on Pinus species, especially Arizona Pine (P. ponderosa var. arizonica) and Apache Pine (P. engelmannii).
Flower Color: Inconspicuous (yellowish)
Flowering Season: Spring
Height: Up to 1 foot (30 cm) tall
Description: The tiny flowers are followed by 1/4 inch (6 mm) long, drooping, football-shaped, green ripening to purple berries with a yellow-orange to brown tip. The berries violently explode open when ripe and spray their sticky seeds great distances away onto new host trees. Birds eat the berries and also help disperse the seeds. The leaves are reduced to tiny, opposite scales. The stems are plump, hairless, highly branched, and often erect. The plants are usually orange to slightly orange-tinged yellow-green in color.
Other similar Arceuthobium species are a different color and/or are found on different coniferous host species.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Viscaceae – Christmas Mistletoe family
Genus: Arceuthobium M. Bieb. – dwarf mistletoe
Species: Arceuthobium vaginatum (Willd.) J. Presl – pineland dwarf mistletoe
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