Plant of the Month — July 2020
Decaisnina angustata (Barlow) Barlow
Decaisnina angustata is a common Kimberley, aerial stem-parasitic shrub (mistletoe) growing on a wide variety of hosts (25 have been recorded in WA) but it is most commonly found on the Wild Mango (Buchanania obovata).
The genus, named for French botanist Joseph Decaisne (1807–1882), is widespread from Tahiti through New Guinea to the Philippines and northern Australia.
The species was once regarded as a subspecies of D. petiolata and the specific name, angustata, referred to the narrower leaves of the subspecies. However, D. petiolata has been incorporated into D. triflora and D. angustata elevated to a full species, so the name angustata is now somewhat ambiguous, particularly as its close relative D. brittenii (also found in the Kimberley) has much narrower leaves.
D. angustata can be found displaying its spectacular, usually red, flowers and striped fruits throughout the year (yellow and pale pink forms have been seen).
Text: A. Start
Photo: W. Muir
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