Santalaceae R. Br. (1810), emend. Der & Nickrent

Genera included: Antidaphne Poepp. & Endl.; Colpoon P. J. Bergius [including Fusanus L.]; Eubrachion Hook. f.; Exocarpos Labill.; Lepidoceras Hook. f.; Myoschilos Ruiz & Pav.; Nestronia Raf. [including Darbya A. Gray]; Omphacomeria (Endl.) A. DC.; Osyris L.; Rhoiacarpos A. DC.; and Santalum L. 

Habit: Root parasitic trees, shrubs and stem parasitic shrubs (mistletoes).

Parasitism: root and stem hemiparasites.  Confirmed root parasitism in Colpoon (Visser 1981), Exocarpos (Rao 1942; Philipson 1959; Fineran 1963, 1965), Nestronia (Melvin 1956), Osyris (Planchon 1858, Ferrarini 1950), Santalum (Barber 1907, 1908). Parasitism in the three aerial parasites (Antidaphne, Eubrachion, and Lepidoceras) is obvious.

Roots: Haustorial. 

Stem:  Branches glabrous or pubescent. 

Leaves: alternate and opposite, persistent, caducous or deciduous, dimorphic or not, developed or as scales (squamate). Leaf cystoliths absent. 

Inflorescence: axillary and terminal and of various types: solitary flowers, monochasia, spikes, cymes (simple and compound dichasia), panicles, fascicles, and umbels.  Floral and inflorescence trichomes absent or present.  Floral bracts and/or bracteoles free (not fused), persistent, caducous or deciduous. 

Plant Sex: various with bisexual flowers, dioecious, monoecious, andromonoecious, and androdioecious conditions seen. Flowers in the three aerial parasites (Antidaphne, Eubrachion, and Lepidoceras) are unisexual, lacking staminodes and pistillodes (Kuijt 1988).

Flowers:  Pedicel (or stipe) present or absent (then the flowers sessile). 

Fruit: drupes or pseudodrupes with stony mesoocarp. Upper portion of fruiting pedicel fleshy and swollen in Exocarpos.  Mature fruit may be crowned by persistent perianth parts (e.g. Rhoiacarpos).  In aerial parasites, fleshy one-seeded berries, forming seed attachment structures via viscin. 

Seed: one per fruit.

Chromosomes: Chromosome numbers have been reported for Antidaphne viscoidea: n = 13 (Wiens & Barlow, 1971), Antidaphne andina [as Eremolepis glaziovii]: n = 10 (Wiens & Barlow, 1971), Lepidoceras chilense: n = ca. 11 (Barlow & Wiens, 1971), Exocarpos gaudichaudii: n = 10 (Carr, 1978), Osyris arborea: n = 20 (Bedi & al., 1981), O. quadripartita: n = 20 (Valdes-Bermejo, 1980), O. wightiana: n = 15 (Mehra, 1976), Santalum acuminatum: n = 10 (Harbaugh, 2008), S. album: n = 20, 20+B (Selvaraj & Subramanian, 1982), S. ellipticum: n = 20 (Carr, 1978), S. freycinetianum: n = 20 (Carr, 1978), S. paniculatum: n = 20 (Carr, 1978), and S. spicatum n = 10 (Harbaugh, 2008). For a discussion of polyploidy in Santalum, see Harbaugh (2008).

Alternate Family Names: Exocarpaceae Gagnep., Osyrinae (Osyridaceae) Link.

Link to Description in Delta (Santalaceae - in the broad sense)

Link to Description in Delta (Eremolepidaceae)

SIUC / College of Science / Parasitic Plant Connection / Santalaceae / Description
Last updated: 19-Oct-10 / dln