The family Apodanthaceae comprises about 10 species of endoparasitic herbs. They live in the branches or stems of their hosts (as filaments similar to a fungal mycelium), emerging only to flower and fruit. The plants produce no green parts and do not carry out any photosynthesis (that is, they are holoparasitic). There are two genera: Pilostyles and Apodanthes. A third genus name that is sometimes erroneously listed was never validly published. Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences confidently place the Apodanthaceae in the Cucurbitales, where they also fit well in terms of their flower morphology.
- Apodanthaceae: Family Description, Parasitic Plant Connection website, accessed 2009-12-31
- Albert Blarer, Daniel L. Nickrent, and Peter K. Endress. 2004. "Comparative floral structure and systematics in Apodanthaceae (Rafflesiales)". Plant Systematics and Evolution 245(1-2):119-142.
- Bellot, S., and S. S. Renner. 2013. "Pollination and mating systems of Apodanthaceae and the distribution of reproductive traits in parasitic angiosperms". "American Journal of Botany" 100(6): 1083–1094.
- Filipowicz, N., and S. S. Renner. 2010. "The worldwide holoparasitic Apodanthaceae confidently placed in the Cucurbitales by nuclear and mitochondrial gene trees." BMC Evolutionary Biology 10:219.