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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 5/9/2013)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 5/9/2013)
Contributor ALWYN H. GENTRY
Description Herbs parasitic on roots or branches of various woody hosts, thalloid or vegetatively reduced to a mycelium-like tissue, dioecious, monoeciouis or rarely with perfect flowers. Leaves reduced to scales. Flowers very small to exceedingly large, usually solitary, rarely spicate, subtended by bracts; calyx more or less epigynous, sometimes petaloid, composed of 4-10 distinct or basally connate seg- ments; corolla absent; stamen number indefinite, in 1-3 series around a fleshy stylar column, the anthers sessile, dehiscing by slits or terminal pores; pollen often viscous; ovary inferior to subinferior, unilocular with 4, 6, or 8 carpels, the placen- tae parietal with numerous ovules, style 1 or wanting, the stigma discoid, capitate or multi-lobate. Fruit fleshy, indehiscent or opening irregularly; seeds numerous, minute, with cellular endosperm and a minute embryo.
Habit Herbs
Distribution A tropical and subtropical family of 8 genera and about 50 species, mostly of the Old World. The New World genera are Pilostyles, ranging from South America to the southwest United States, Apodanthes from South America to British Honduras, Bdallophyton in Mexico, and Mitrastemon with species both in the Old World and in Mexico and Guatemala.
Note The flowers range from minute in the Panamanian species to that of Rafflesia arnoldii of southeast Asia which weighs up to 10 kg and is the largest flower-known.
Key a. Parasitic on species of Flacourtiaceae; sepals petaloid, early deciduous, conspicuously narrowed to a more or less circular base ......... 1. Apodanthes aa. Parasitic on species of Leguminosae; sepals not differentiated from the bracts, usually persistent, very little narrowed to a wide linear base ......... 2. Pilostyles
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