Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Phoradendron juniperinum, Juniper Mistletoe

Juniper Mistletoe is a high desert and uplands species found in pinyon-juniper communities and is parasitic on several species of Junipers. Phoradendron juniperinumJuniper Mistletoe is a native perennial that grows up to 15 or so. The leaves have been reduced to scale-like appendages. Phoradendron juniperinum Juniper Mistletoe is a flowering plant that blooms in Arizona and California from June through July. The flowers are small and the fruits are pinkish-white. Phoradendron juniperinum

Scientific Name: Phoradendron juniperinum
Common Name: Juniper Mistletoe
Also Called: Mistletoe
Family: Santalaceae or Sandalwood Family
Synonyms: (Phoradendron juniperinum var. juniperinum, Phoradendron juniperinum var. ligatum, Phoradendron ligatum)
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 15 inches or so.
Growth Form: Shrub, subshrub; mostly erect, base is woody (suffrutescent), glaucous.
Leaves: Green; leaves scale-like.
Flower Color: Green; inconspicuous; both staminate and pistillate flowers; fruit pinkish-white also glabrous.
Flowering Season: June to July.
Elevation: 4,000 to 7,000 feet; 5,500 to 8,500 in California.
Habitat Preferences: Pinyon-juniper communities; parasitic on several species of Juniper; rarely on Pinyon (Piñon) Pine (Pinus edulis).
Recorded Range: Phoradendron juniperinum or Juniper Mistletoe is found primarily in the southwestern United States in AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, OR, TX, UT. It is also native to Baja California and northern Mexico. In Arizona it is found throughout the state with few or no records in Yuma and LaPaz counties.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Phoradendron juniperinum.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: In North America there are 24 species and 26 accepted taxa overall for Phoradendron. World wide, The Plant List includes 269 accepted species names and includes a further 103 infraspecific rank for the genus.

Prior to acknowledgment of genetic studies by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group, Phoradendron was included in the Viscaceae family. Before that it was placed in its own family, the Phoradendron family. Some botanists still include this species in the Viscaceae family.

In the Southwestern United States, Arizona and California each have 7 species of Phoradendron, Nevada has 2 species, New Mexico and Texas each have 8 species and Utah has 2 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

Comments: Juniper Mistletoe, Phoradendron juniperinum is a high desert and uplands species found in pinyon-juniper communities and is parasitic on several species of Junipers.

Phoradendron juniperinum or Juniper Mistletoe has been used for a variety of purposes including food and as a drug for several ailments by South American indigenous peoples.
Acoma Food, Starvation Food, Berries eaten when other foods became scarce.
Havasupai Food, Unspecified, Plant pounded and boiled for food.
Hopi Drug, Gastrointestinal Aid, Plant used as 'medicine for the stomach.'
Hopi Drug, Witchcraft Medicine, Plant used as 'medicine for the stomach and bad medicine of wizards.'
Keres, Western Drug, Antidiarrheal, Crushed plant given to children for diarrhea.
Laguna Food, Starvation Food, Berries eaten when other foods became scarce.
Navajo Drug, Dermatological Aid, Plant used for warts.
Tewa Drug, Gastrointestinal Aid, Infusion of pulverized plant taken for 'chill in the stomach.'
Zuni Drug, Emetic, Infusion of whole plant taken as an emetic for stomachaches.
Zuni Drug, Gynecological Aid, Compound infusion of plant taken to promote muscular relaxation at birth.
Zuni Drug, Gynecological Aid, Compound infusion of plant taken to promote muscular relaxation at birth. Simple or compound infusion of twigs taken after childbirth to stop blood flow.
See ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

Date Profile Completed: 08/03/2016
References:
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 08/03/2016); as Viscaceae – Christmas Mistletoe family
http://plants.usda.gov/java/ClassificationServlet?source=profile&symbol=PHORA&display=31
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; http://www.theplantlist.org/ (accessed 08/03/2016).
http://www.theplantlist.org/1.1/browse/A/Santalaceae/Phoradendron/
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/interchange/I_treat_indexes.html (accessed 08/03/2016)
http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_JM_treatment.pl?7836,7852,7855
Wikipedia contributors, 'Phoradendron', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 14 August 2015, 17:46 UTC, [accessed 1 August 2016]
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information
http://swbiodiversity.org/seinet/(accessed 08/03/2016).