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, Berlinianche, 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.
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- 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.
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- 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.