New Exotic Mistletoe Discovered
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New Exotic Mistletoe Discovered

Maputo : Mozambique | Dec 20, 2010 at 5:17 PM PST
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Kew’s Expedition to Mt Namuli,  Mozambique

During a 2008 expedition to Mozambique, several new species were discovered—including an exotic species of mistletoe that grows on trees in the coffee family near Mount Mabu's summit. But good luck getting your hands on it.

The species, named this year, was discovered a few years back during a Kew expedition to Mount Mabu on the north of the nation. It was one of several new species that Kew stumbled upon during a 2008 trip to a remote enclave the group now refers to as the 'lost forest.' Parasitic in nature, the plant is considered endangered both because of its limited range and because of the threat of its habitat as Mozambique, after years of war, expands its agricultural and forestry sectors.

Species Information Scientific Name: Helixanthera schizocalyx T.Harris, I.Darbysh. & Polhill
  • Conservation Status: Considered to be globally threatened, with a provisional rating of Vulnerable (VU D2) according to IUCN Red List criteria, because of its extremely limited distribution and possible future threats to its habitat.
  • Habitat: Parasitic on small trees on the margins of wet montane forest at the transition to open tussock sedge-dominated exposed granite slopes.
  • Key Uses: None known.
  • Known hazards: None known.

Taxonomy

  • Class: Equisetopsida
  • Subclass: Magnoliidae
  • Superorder: Santalanae
  • Order: Santalales
  • Family: Loranthaceae
  • Genus: Helixanthera
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New Mistletoe
Detail of Helixanthera schizocalyx holotype specimen collected from Mt Mabu by Tim Harris in 2008
Jay-ar Mendoza is based in Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines, and is a Stringer for Allvoices.
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