Dendrophthoe falcata (L. f.) Ettingsh.

This species has been excluded from the Malesian flora (Barlow 1995). The collections from New Guinea are now placed in D. curvata (Blume) Miq.

Description (Barlow 1995)

Dendrophthoe falcata (L. f.) Ettingsh.

Loranthusfalcatus L. C., Suppl. PI. (1781) 211. ­ Dendrophthoe falcata (L. C.) Ettingsh., Denkschr. K. Akad. Wiss. M.-N. CI. Wien 32 (1872) 52. - Type: Not seen.

This name has been applied by numerous authors to a complex taxon thought to be widespread, from India to eastern Australia, and very polymorphic. Based on examination of the extensive holdings in L, it is concluded that a number of closely related but morphologically and geographically discrete species are represented by the collections referred to this complex. The exceptional biological and geographical situation supposedly represented by Dendrophthoe falcata sens. lat. is therefore not valid.

Dendrophthoe falcata sens. str. does not occur in Malesia, and is probably of restricted occurrence in India. For further discussion see under D. curvata, which is the most widespread member of the species group occurring in Malesia.
1) Dendrophthoe kerrii (Craib) Barlow, comb. novo - Loranthus kerrii Craib, Kew Bull. (1911) 453.

Description (Barlow 1974)

Dendrophthoe falcata (L. f.) Ettingsh. Densk. Akad. Wiss. Math-Nat. 32: 52 (1872); Dans. Bull. Jard. bot. Buitenz. 10: 308 (1929); 11: 403, illus. Fig. 20, d (1931); 14: 96 (1936); Blumea 3: 52 (1938); 3: 400 (1940); Barlow, Aust. J. Bot. 14: 490, illus. Fig. 7, m (1966); Loranthus falcatus L.f. Suppl. P1. 211 (1781); Engl. & Krause, Pfl. Fam.ed. 2 16b: 153 (1935). Type-Not seen.

Loranthus longifiorus Desr. in Lam. Enc. Meth. bot. 3: 598 (1789). Type.- Not seen.

Loranthus lauterbachii Schum. in Schum. & Lauterb. Fl. Deutsch. Schutzgeb. 299 (1901). Type-New Guinea, Cape Ancona, Huon Gulf, Lauterbach 666, 2.viii. 1890 (B, holotype, not seen, probably destroyed; WRSL).

Loranthus dolichocladus Schum. in Schum. & Lauterb. Nachtr. 1: 258 (1905); Fngl. & Krause, Pfl. Fam.ed. 2 16b: 153 (1935): Type-New Guinea, Friedrich Wilhelmshafen, Nyman 1068, Oct. 1899 (B, holotype, not seen, probably destroyed; WRSL).

For very extensive further synonymy, not relevant to the area dealt with here, see Barlow, Aust. J. Bot. 14: 490 (1966) and especially Danser, Bull. Jard. bot. Buitenz. 11: 403 (1931).
Glabrous except for the young shoots, inflorescences and flowers (especially the calyces) sparsely to densely white- or brown-tomentose. Petiole distinct, 0 5-1 . 5 cm long; lamina variable but mostly broad lanceolate to elliptical, mostly widest in the middle, (3)-6-12-(15) by (l)-3-5-(7) cm, attenuate at the base, obtuse or shortly rounded at the apex; venation distinct or obscure. Inflorescences solitary to few in the axils; axis very variable in length (at one extreme c. 2 mm long and bearing 2 or 3 flowers, at the other extreme 40 mm long and bearing 12 flowers); pedicels slender, 2-4-(6) mm long; bracts acute or rounded, c. 1 mm long. Calyx urceolate, 2-3 mm long; limb truncate or shortly toothed, c. 1 mm long. Corolla in the mature bud usually acute, (20)-30-40 mm long; petals in the open flower gamopetalous for three-quarters of their length. Anthers 3-5 mm long; about equal to the free parts of the filaments. Fruit urceolate, widest near the base, 8-14 mm long. Chromosome Number.- n = 9 (Barlow and Wiens 1971). Voucher: Barlow 956, see below. Also recorded as n = 9 from different material by Barlow (1964) under the name D. gjellerupii.

New Guinea, adjacent islands, Aru Is., New Britain and the Solomon lslands (Fig. 8); very common in coastal lowlands, less frequent at higher altitudes but recorded up to 1800 in. Further distributed to northern Australia and as far as India.

Representative Specimens. ARU ISLANDS: Trangan, Selarin, few m alt., Buwalda 5546, 12.vii.1938 (L). WE5T IRIAN: Waigeo Is., Radjah Ampat, Go Isthmus, van Royen 5548, 17.ii.1955 (CANB; L); Vogelkop Peninsula, W. Kebar Valley, Senop to Ambuaki, 700 m alt., van Royen and Sleumer 7299, 10xi.1961 (CANB; L); Biak, de Bruyn 289, 8.xii.1915 (L); Merauke, Mopa to Manggatrikke, c. 10 m alt., van Royen 4564, 3.viii.1954 (CANB; L). EA5TERN NEW GUINEA: Nondugl, 1800 m alt., Barlow 967, 16.ii.1965 (AD; BRI; LAE); McAdam Park, Wau, 1200 m alt., Barlow 956, 1l.ii.1965 (AD; BRI; LAE); Waruka, C. Vogel Peninsula, Milne Bay, c. 5 m alt., Hoogland 4308, 16.vii.1954 (CANB; L); Rossel I., Jinju, 1 m alt., Brass 28510, 22.x.1956 (L; LAE; K). NEW BRITAIN: Gasmata, sea level, Sayers NGF 24116, 21.iii.1965 (AD). GUADALCANAL: Berande R., 0 m alt., Ka]ewski 2415, 6.i.1931 (L). SANTA vsABEL: Nangalau, near Tatamba, 60 m alt., Whitmore BSIP 2591, 20.iii.1964 (L).

The difficulties of circumscribing D. falcata have been pointed out by Danser (1931, 1938). In floral and leaf characters it intergrades with D. pentandra and D. praelonga in Malesia, and with D. vitellina in northern Australia, although in some areas these entities occur together and remain sharply distinct. In New Guinea D. falcata is very variable, and D. gjellerupii can be distinguished from D. falcata only on the perhaps doubtful characters of corolla dimensions. Dendrophthoe pelagica and D. trichanthera, here described as new, are probably young, local, specialized derivatives of the D. falcata complex in New Guinea.



This is the "real" Dendrophthoe falcata, parastic on Annona squamosa. Photo taken in Sri Lanka by Gerhard Glatzel.

Specific Locality Information

Dendrophthoe falcata

updated 20 January 2007