Phoradendron californicum

Common Name: Desert Mistletoe
Oˊodham Name: Ha:kwaḍ   (Ha:kwadt)   Audio
Group: Succulents - Desert, Desert Grassland

Phoradendron californicum is a parasitic plant that grows in desert trees below about 4000 ft. It may eventually kill the host by starving it of nutrients. The parasite is spread by birds who are attracted to its white, pink, or red tinted fruit. They pass the seeds onto a new host while sitting on the branches of other trees. Phoradendron is usually seen infecting Mesquite, Palo Verdes, Catclaw Acacia, and Ironwood trees.

entire plant
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Kingdom Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta - Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Santalales
Family Viscaceae - Christmas Mistletoe family
Genus Phoradendron Nutt. - mistletoe
Species Phoradendron californicum Nutt. - mesquite mistletoe
More Information
USDA Plant Profile and Map

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