Pygmy (leafless) mistletoes

Korthalsella clavata in the Ahuriri Valley (photo: John Barkla)

Korthalsella is a genus of mistletoes with about 25 species in the family Viscaceae known as Korthal mistletoes (pygmy mistletoes in New Zealand). The genus has a scattered and discontinuous distribution with high levels of species richness in Malesia extending eastward to Hawaii, the Marquesas and Henderson Islands, Japan in the north, Australia and New Zealand in the south, and Ethiopia and Madagascar to the west (Molvray, 1999; Burrows 1996). Hawaii is another region with high levels of species diversity.

New Zealand's species of Korthalsella are called pygmy mistletoes because of the diminutive nature of plants, as the size is mostly in the range of 5 cm and the flowers are also very reduced in size, male flowers being up to 0.7 mm across and female flowers are only 0.4 to 0.5 mm.

The New Zealand Botanic Region is home to three species of pygmy mistletoe:

For more information about pygmy (leafless) mistletoes see:

This page last updated on 21 Dec 2013