Plant: aerial parasitic shrub; woody, glabrous or hairy, SHOOTS 3-8 dm high, often pendulous with age, yellow green, the internodes 7-12 mm long Leaves: oblanceolate-linear, 1-1.5 cm long, 2-3 mm wide; densely pubescent INFLORESCENCE: staminate spikes with 2-3 fertile segments, 6-10(-15) flowers per segment; pistillate spikes with usually 1 fertile segment, with 2-3 flowers per segment Flowers: pubescent, sunken along the axis; perianth segments usually 3, persistent in fruit; staminate flower with a sessile minute (less than 2 mm), 2-chambered anther; pistillate flower with a single style and rounded stigma Fruit: pink-white, ca. 3 mm in diameter Misc: Pinyon-juniper woodlands; 800-1700 m (2800-5500 ft); Dec-Feb Notes: HOST: Juniperus REFERENCES: Hawksworth, Frank G. 1994. Viscaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. Volume 27(2), 241-245.
Hawksworth and Wiens 1993, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Subshrub General: Perennial, aerial parasitic subshrub with shoots 30-80 cm long, often pendulous in age, yellow green with internodes 7-12 mm long. Leaves: Oblanceolate to linear 1-1.5 cm long, 2-3 mm wide, densely pubescent. Flowers: Staminate spikes with 2-3 fertile segments, 6-10 flowers per segment, pistillate spikes with usually 1 fertile segment, with 2-3 flowers per segment; pubescent flowers, pink-white, about 3 mm in diameter; perianth segments usually three, persistent in fruit; pistillate flower with a single style and rounded stigma. Fruits: Mucilaginous berry, 3-6 mm in diameter, sessile, explosively dehiscent. Ecology: Found on species of Juniperus from 2,500-5,500 ft (762-1676 m); flowers December-February. Notes: One of three species that are parasitic on Cupressaceae, distinguished from P. densum by its pubescent leaves and its being on Juniperus. Ethnobotany: Unknown, but other species in the genera have uses. Etymology: Phoradendron is from Greek phor, a thief and dendron, tree-hence tree thief because of its parasitism, while capitellatum means having a small head. Synonyms: Phoradendron bolleanum var. capitellatum Editor: SBuckley, 2010