Alepis flavida (Yellow mistletoe)
(Unranked): Core eudicots
Species: A. flavida
Binomial name: Alepis flavida
Synonyms: Elytranthe flavida, Loranthus flavidus
Common name: Yellow mistletoe, pirita, piriraki
Alepis flavida is found the North and South Islands including Taranaki. In the North Island, it appears to have always been sparsely distributed and is now declining because of animal pests (including possums), fire, collectors, destruction of habitat and hosts, vegetation succession and fungal diseases.
Yellow mistletoe is the most host-specific mistletoe species in New Zealand, nearly always growing on its principal host tree the black/mountain beech (Nothofagus solandri complex) but it has been recorded on 13 species, all indigenous to New Zealand.
Alepis flavida is a shrub that can grow up to 2 m across. It has leathery leaves that are 2-6cm long, narrow and dull green with deciduous tip. The leaves sit in pairs on opposite sides of the stem and are thick and fleshy with a matt surface.
Alepis flavida is easily differentiated from other mistletoes by its smaller, yellow-orange flowers which appear December to February. It also tends to grow on branches further out from the host trunk, and its leaves have a faint red margin. Like all other New Zealand Loranthaceae mistletoe species it has fleshy fruits which are bird dispersed.
For more information visit: http://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.asp?ID=146
Alepis flavida with fruit growing through a hosts canopy.
The parasitic Alepis flavida attached to a hosts branch
Another parasitic Alepis flavida attached to a hosts branch
Green and ripe orange fruit mid March
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