Translator Disclaimer
1 January 2016 The Classification of California Viscaceae: An Alternative Perspective
Author Affiliations +

The classification of Viscaceae in the second edition of the Jepson Manual (TJM2) differs radically from that in the first edition of the Jepson Manual (TJM1). The number of species of Arceuthobium M. Bieb. was reduced from 12 in TJM1 to three in TJM2, and for Phoradendron Nutt. reduced from seven species to four. The TJM2 treatment is conservative in regards to these taxa, and disregards many morphological, phenological, and other physiological discontinuities (e.g., host preferences) among the Viscaceae of California that have been consistently reported in the scientific literature since the 1960s. The species accepted in TJM2 have widespread geographical distributions containing distinct lineages, some of which we consider different species, and other lineages that may be considered cryptic taxa. These taxa are distinct enough, based on differences in morphology, phenology, host specificity, and geographic isolation, to warrant classification as species or subspecies. The taxonomic recognition of these taxa is of critical importance to resource managers that are responsible for mitigating economic impacts of these parasitic plants, or documenting and protecting rare mistletoes. We present an alternative treatment for the Viscaceae, which recognizes both the cryptic and distinct mistletoes in California. We provide a brief history of the taxonomic classification of mistletoes in California and why we believe the treatment proposed herein is a far better representation of the mistletoe diversity in the state. Keys and descriptions are provided for the identification of mistletoes in the field that use both morphological characters and host-mistletoe relationships.

California Botanical Society
Robert L. Mathiasen "The Classification of California Viscaceae: An Alternative Perspective," Madroño 63(1), 8-33, (1 January 2016).
Published: 1 January 2016

Get copyright permission
Back to Top