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NZ Plants

Ileostylus micranthus - pirita, green mistletoe

Mistletoe family: Loranthaceae

Ileostylus micranthus  is a woody many branched shrub up to 1 m with green to yellow green, leathery leaves. A partial parasite, it is attached to the host by ball-like masses of runners with sucker- like haustoria  located at intervals along the host branch. The genus name refers to the folded or contorted nature of the style which resembles the folds of the ileum. Formerly placed in the genus Loranthus.
An endemic genus with one species found on a wide variety of hosts in coastal to lowland forest throughout New Zealand

Vegetative characteristics

Reproductive characteristics

Plant form: shrub up to 1 m

Arrangement of parts : symmetric


Flower size:  -5 mm diam.

Leaf form: ovate to elliptic

Sepals: 4, obscure

Leaf size: 2-8 cm

Petals: 4, yellow green

Leaf arrangement: opposite pairs

Sexuality: bisexual

Leaf attachment:

Stamens: 4

Leaf margin: toothed

Ovary: below petals

Leaf surface: hairless

Fruit: fleshy