Romina Vidal-Russell Southern Illinois University Department of Plant Biology Carbondale Illinois 62901-6509 USA
Tristerix penduliflorus (Loranthaceae) is a bird-pollinated mistletoe
that occurs in dry, high elevation (3700 m) habitats from southern Peru to Bolivia.
This plant, parasitic on Schinus (Anacardiaceae), was photographed near
Maras, Departamento Cuzco, in southern Peru (scale: 3.83× unopened flower
buds are typically 3.7 cm long). Although the flower color pattern suggests affinity
with other Peruvian species, molecular data indicate that T. penduliflorus
is related to three Tristerix species with more southern distributions.
One of these southern species from central Chile, T. aphyllus, appears
to have arisen in sympatry from T. corymbosus, an event accompanied by
a host switch driven by the behavior of a seeddispersing bird.