T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Ileostylus micranthus (Green mistletoe)

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Tracheophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Santalales
Family: Loranthaceae
Genus: Ileostylus
Species: I. micranthus
Scientific name: Ileostylus micranthus
Synonyms: Loranthus kirkii, Loranthus Aucklandicus, Ileostylus kirkii, Acrostachys kirkii
Common name: Green mistletoe

Ileostylus micranthus is an indigenous, epiphytic shrub and it is the only member of the genus Ileostylus. It is a primitive, endemic species growing on a wide variety of indigenous and exotic hosts (nearly 300) in coastal to lowland forest throughout New Zealand including Stewart Islands. Ileostylus micranthus is one of the few indigenous mistletoe's to regularly grow in urban situations. It is also found on Norfolk Island.

Ileostylus micranthus is a hemiparasite plant, this means it obtains part of its food by parasitism and part by photosynthesises. It is a woody, many branched shrub attached to the host by ball-like masses of runners with a sucker like haustoria located at intervals along the host branch. It can grow to a height of 1 m.
The variable shaped, ovate to elliptic, leathery, hairless leaves are green to yellow-green in colour. They are 20-80mm long and are in opposite pairs.
Flowering occurs during September – December. The green, >5mm diameter, 4 petaled flowers can be male, female or hermaphroditic.
One seeded, yellow or orange berries appear during December – July.




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