The occurrence of basal cataphylls is surveyed in Phoradendron and Dendrophthora (Viscaceae). It is shown that, in the former genus, there is a great deal of irregularity in this regard, rendering the maintenance of Trelease’s distinction between his Boreales and Aequatoriales extremely difficult, and at times misleading or even impossible. In both Trelease’s groups, a number of cataphyll irregularities are detailed. Some of these appear to represent the development of basal cataphylls from acataphyllous stock, but in other cases it seems that acataphyllous species have evolved from ancestors bearing such organs. In each genus, the lowest foliar organs of lateral stems are positioned in one of two phyllotactic patterns, transverse or median. The systematic importance of this difference is almost exclusively at the species level. In both the occurrence of basal cataphylls and in basal phyllotaxy the type species of Phoradendron, P. californicum, occupies an anomalous position in the genus; nomenclatural consequences are briefly indicated.

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Acta botanica neerlandica

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Koninklijke Nederlandse Botanische Vereniging

Job Kuijt. (1996). Cataphylls and taxonomy in Phoradendron and Dendrophthora (Viscaceae). Acta botanica neerlandica, 45(3), 263–277.