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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Viscum (the old Latin name used by Virgil and Pliny). Loranthaceae. Mistletoe. Parasitic shrubs which grow on trees and are well known to all on account of their use at Christmas. The lvs. are sometimes flat and rather thick, sometimes reduced to minute teeth or scales: fls. dioecious or monoecious at the axils or nodes: berry 1-seeded, naked or crowned with the perianth. About 70 species, natives of the temperate and warmer regions. Two species deserve mention: V. album, Linn. Common Mistletoe (of Eu.). Yellowish green, glabrous shrub, 1-4 ft. high: lvs. opposite or in whorls of 3, 1-3 in. long, obovate-lanceolate, obtuse, 5-7-nerved: fr. white, nearly 1/2 in. diam., ovoid or globose, viscid. Eu. and Temp. Asia. V. cruciatum, Sieber. Resembles V. album in habit, foliage, and infl., but the lvs. are very pale yellow-green and 3-nerved: berries red-brown, larger and long-pedicelled. Spain, N. E. Afr., and Syria. B.M. 7828. See also Loranthus and Phoradendron.

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