Erianthemum dregei

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Erianthemum dregei
Erianthemum dregei Amanzimtoti 21 08 2010.jpg
Erianthemum dregei in a Croton sylvaticus, Amanzimtoti, South Africa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Santalales
Family: Loranthaceae
Genus: Erianthemum
Species: E. dregei
Binomial name
Erianthemum dregei
(Eckl. & Zeyh.) Tiegh.
Synonyms
  • Loranthus dregei Eckl. & Zeyh.
  • Loranthus heterochromus K.Krause
  • Loranthus hirsutiflorus Klotzsch
  • Loranthus linguiformis Peter
  • Loranthus oblongifolius E.Mey.
  • Loranthus roseus Klotzsch
  • Loranthus ulugurensis auct.

Erianthemum dregei is a species of parasitic plant in the Loranthaceae family, and is commonly known as the Hairy Mistletoe or Wood Flower.[1]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

These plants are native to Africa and are parasitic on a large number of tree species in higher rainfall areas[2] from the Eastern Cape of South Africa, through KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland and Mpumalanga,[1] to East Africa, as far as northern Ethiopia.[3] They are also found in southern Angola.[3]

Description[edit]

Stem of Erianthemum dregei growing out of the branch of a Croton sylvaticus
Flowers of Erianthemum dregei

A branched parasitic shrub with spreading or pendent stems,[2][3] forming clumps of up to 2m x 1.5m.[1] The leaves are leathery and hairless, usually alternate (sometimes opposite[2]), with conspicuous side veins.[1] The growing points are velvety brown.[1] The flowers are massed in small clusters and are densely hairy,[1] pale yellowish-green and sometimes flushed orange to pink.[2] The fruit is an orange to bright red berry, 10–15 mm in size.[3] Erianthemum dregei shows great variation across its range.[3]

Human uses[edit]

Erianthemum dregei is used in African traditional medicine to treat stomach complaints in children and cattle.[1]

Ecological significance[edit]

The flowers and fruit attract birds.[1] The leaves are eaten by the larvae of Mylothris agathina.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h E. Pooley (1998). A Field Guide to Wild Flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Natal Flora Publications Trust. ISBN 978-0-620-21500-8. 
  2. ^ a b c d Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T. & Ballings, P. (2011). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Erianthemum dregei. http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=120950, retrieved 28 November 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e JSTOR PLANT SCIENCE: Entry for ERIANTHEMUM dregei (Eckl. & Zeyh.) Tiegh.:http://plants.jstor.org/flora/ftea004152, retrieved 28 November 2011.
  4. ^ Woodhall, S. (2005) Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa. Struik Publishers, Cape Town. ISBN 1-86872-724-6.