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Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Shrubs Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Catclaw acacia heavily infested with mistletoe

General: Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum) is a parasitic plant that lives on catclaw acacia, honey mesquite, and screwbean mesquite (Acacia, Cercidium, Olneya, and Prosopis). The plant appears as dark clumps among the lighter-green branches. The stems are reddish brown, cylindrical, and jointed, and the berries are red (white before ripe) with a dark spot at the tip.

Mesquite Mistletoe is a fairly common component of vegetation communities with catclaw and mesquite, places such as rocky washes and rocky hillsides in the Lower Sonoran (Creosote-Bursage Flats) and Upper Sonoran (Mojave Desert Scrub) life zones.

Family: Mistletoe (Santalaceae; formerly Viscaceae)

Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Individual stems

Other Names:

Plant Form: parasitic plant

Height:

Bark: smooth

Stems: green, then reddish brown

Leaves: none (scale like)

Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Ripe mistletoe berries

Flowers:

Seeds: held within red berries

Habitat: places with catclaw and mesquite

Elevation: to about 4,000 ft

Distribution: California to Arizona, Baja California

Comments: Phainopepla depend on mesquite mistletoe berries for food, but humans can't eat them. Rarely found as a parasite on creosote bush.

Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum) Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum) Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum) Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Mesquite Mistletoe in Creosote Bush
Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Mesquite Mistletoe in Creosote Bush
Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum) Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Mesquite Mistletoe in Creosote Bush
Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Mesquite Mistletoe from Creosote Bush
Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum) Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Tangle of stems
Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Stems
Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum) Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Stem bud
Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Unripe berries
Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Unripe berries
Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Unripe berries
Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Unripe berries
Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Fruits are fleshy with sticky pulp and a large seed
Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Seeds recently eaten and pooped by a Phainopepla
Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Seeds recently eaten and pooped by a Phainopepla
Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Older seeds eaten and pooped by a Phainopepla, now sprouting
Mesquite Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)
Older seeds eaten and pooped by a Phainopepla, now sprouting

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
copyright; Last updated 150705

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