Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness

Presented in Association with the
Western New Mexico University Department of Natural Sciences

(Sandalwood & Mistletoe Family)

The Santalaceae formerly were represented by one species in the Gila National Forest, Comandra umbellata subsp. pallida. Comandra umbellata subsp. pallida is a greenish gray plant with white to green flowers. More recently, the Viscaceae (Mistletoe Family) has been grouped into the Santalaceae. The mistletoes are green parasitic plants found growing on trees. Each species of mistletoe has a particular tree or group of trees which is its preferred host. Many can be identified simply by identifying the host tree. The modified roots of the parasite, called "haustoria", penetrate the host tissue to obtain water and nutrients. Although the mistletoes contain chlorophyll, they have much less than their hosts. Phoradendron californicum has been seen as far east as Road Forks in New Mexico along the I-10 corridor. It is very easily seen along I-10 between Texas Canyon and Benson, AZ. However, it has not yet been noted within the Gila National Forest.

Arceuthobium apachecum (Apache Dwarf Mistletoe)
Arceuthobium divaricatum (Pinon Pine Dwarf Mistletoe)
Arceuthobium douglasii (Douglas Fir Dwarf Mistletoe)
Arceuthobium microcarpum (Spruce Dwarf Mistletoe)
Arceuthobium vaginatum subsp. cryptopodum (Southwestern Dwarf Mistletoe)
Comandra umbellata subsp. pallida (Bastard Toadflax)
*Phoradendron californicum (Mesquite Mistletoe)
Phoradendron capitellatum (Downy Mistletoe)
Phoradendron coryae (Oak Mistletoe)
Phoradendron juniperinum subsp. juniperinum (Juniper Mistletoe)
Phoradendron macrophyllum (Cockerell's Mistletoe)

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