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Desert Mistletoe (Phoradendron californicum)

169.jpg Arizona Barrel Cactus (<i>Ferocactus wislizeni</i>)ThumbnailsCholla (<i>Cylindropuntia</i> spp.)

Common name: Desert Mistletoe

Scientific name: Phoradendron californicum

Description: A parasitic shrub that grows in ironwood, mesquite, palo verde, and acacia. The stems appear segmented because of the scale-like leaves. This shrub produces tiny fragrant flowers and small white berries with red seeds.

The Pima, Seri, and Tohono O’odham (Papago) eat the berries (from mistletoe growing on specific tree species). May also be used for medicinal purposes - the Seri prepare a medicinal tea from the stems.

Kimberley A. Ryan, Northern Arizona University Anthropology Laboratories
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