Plants of the Castlemaine District.
Drooping Mistletoe - native (Amyema pendula)
Family: Loranthaceae (Mistletoe family).
It is rare in the box ironbark and dry heathy forests. It is more common to the south where it grows on peppermints and manna gums.
It is a hemi-parasite; it relies on the host plant for water and minerals, but has chlorophyll and is able to make its own sugars and other carbohydrates.
- the flowers are red
- the flowers are in groups of three; the central flower is stalkless
- the leaves and branchlets are a dull brown.
It differs from the much more common Box Mistleoe in that
- all of the flowers of Box Mistletoe are stalked (The central flower of Drooping Mistletoe is stalkless.)
- the branchlets af Box Mistletoe are shiny (Dull brown in Drooping Mistletoe.)
- Box Mistletoe flowers in autumn (spring for Drooping Mistletoe)
- Box Mistletoe grows mostly on Box eucalypts, Red Stringybark, Yellow Gum and Red Ironbark. (Drooping Mistletoe grows on other eucalpts or wattles.)
Photos 1: Drooping Mistletoe. Healesville. 2: Elphinstone, along the water race. 3: Dead Drooping Mistletoe on Manna Gum, Cranbourne Botanic Gardens.