Scurrula

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Scurrula

Description

Aerial stem-parasitic shrubs, more or less clothed in a tomentum of stellate and dendritic hairs, slender to moderately robust, with epicortical runners bearing secondary haustoria. Leaves opposite, different above and below (especially with respect to indumentum). Inflorescence a simple 3- to 10-flowered raceme of decussate flowers, rarely 2-flowered and apparently umbellate; bract single under each flower, simple. Fruit obovoid, club-like, distinctly stipitate.

Distribution

Asia-Tropical:, Jawa (Jawa present) from India to Taiwan and Malesia: present
About 20 species from India to Taiwan and Malesia. In Malesia 8 species, with a centre of richness and diversity in Java (7 species).

Ecology

In Malesia some species are aggressive, apparently with broad host ranges including cultivated trees. The hosts also include other Loranthaceae; such epi- parasitism is also common in other genera such as Amyema and Lysiana (Loranthaceae) and Viscum and Notothixos (Viscaceae), and probably results from a sharing of the bird dispersal agents.

Taxonomy

The genus is related to Dendrophthoe, differing in fruit structure and the small more strongly zygomorphic 4-merous flowers. For discussion of Afro-Asian origins, see Barlow (1990).

The genus is also closely related to, and difficult to delineate from, the sympatric genus Taxillus (see Barlow 1990). , has without discussion apparently proposed union of Scurrula and Taxillus, but he erroneously placed Scurrula (1753) in synonymy under Taxillus (1895).