Rusty Mistletoe
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Rusty Mistletoe
ative Photo: Krishan Lal
Common name: Rusty Mistletoe • Nepali: नाई Naaii
Botanical name: Taxillus vestitus    Family: Loranthaceae (Mistletoe family)
Synonyms: Loranthus vestitus

Rusty Mistletoe is a parasitic shrub with young shoots velvet-hairy. Leaves are opposite, elliptic-ovate to lanceshaped, 4-7 cm long, entire, pointed to blunt, rusty velvety on the lower surface, base narrowed in to the 0.6-1 cm long, velvety stalk. Flowers are stalkless, in fascicles in leaf axils, 1.7-2 cm long, rusty velvety, bract subulate, 1.5 mm long, velvety. Calyculus is 3 mm long, pubescent. Flower-tube is about 7 mm long, rusty velvety, split along one side, lobes 4, 1 cm long, spoon-shaped. Stamens are 4, epiphyllous, filaments 7 mm long, hairless, crimson, anthers 2 mm long. Ovary is oblong to obovoid, 3 mm long, velvety, fused with the calyculus, style crimson, 1.7 cm long; stigma capitate. Fruit is ellipsoid, about 7 mm long, rusty, becoming hairless. Seed is 1, about 4 mm long, embedded in a viscid pulp. Rusty Mistletoe is found in the Himalayas, from Garhwal to Nepal and Assam, at altitudes of 50-1500 m. Flowering: September-January.

Identification credit: Krishan Lal Photographed in Sirmaur Distt, Himachal Pradesh.

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