Lysiana exocarpi (Behr) Tiegh.

Harlequin Mistletoe

Bull. Soc. Bot. France 41: 603 (1894) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Spreading to pendulous shrubs. Leaves flat or somewhat compressed, linear to narrow-oblong or narrow-elliptic, mostly 3–15 cm long, 1–10 mm wide, base tapering, apex rounded, leathery, green, sessile to shortly petiolate; venation obscure. Inflorescence usually 2-flowered; peduncle 0.5–2 mm long; pedicels 2–5 mm long; bracts c. 1.5 mm long, obtuse. Calyx entire or weakly toothed, limb to c. 0.7 mm long; corolla 25–50 mm long, usually red, rarely yellow, sometimes tipped with green or black; anthers 4–6 mm long, not septate. Fruit ellipsoidal to ovoid, 6–10 mm long, red or black. Flowers mostly Dec.–Apr.

CVU, Glep, Gold, GGr, LoM, MuM, MSB, NIS, OtP, RobP, VRiv, VVP, Wim. Also WA, NT, SA, Qld, NSW. Widespread in western Victoria where found on a wide range of hosts but not on species of Eucalyptus.

This species displays a great deal of variation in leaf width, apparently depending to some extent on habitat and host plant. Subspecies tenuis (Blakely) Barlow, from northern New South Wales and southern Queensland, reputedly differs from the type variety in having narrower (1–3 mm), linear leaves (Barlow 1963). However, this variant seems to represent only the lower end of a continuum. Most Victorian populations have leaves 2–5 mm wide, sometimes with leaves less than 3 mm wide as well as some greater than 3 mm wide on the same plant. Given the evidence available, the recognition of this subspecies is not considered useful or practical.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1999). Loranthaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Santalanae
order Santalales
family Loranthaceae
genus Lysiana
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Lysiana exocarpi in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Lysiana exocarpi in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Murray Scroll Belt present native
Robinvale Plains present native
Otway Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales