Mistletoes 5: Germination of Macrosolen cochinchinensis

on 10th March 2006

A Macrosolen cochinchinensis seed, when deposited on to the branch of a host plant by a bird, germinates by growing a green stalk with a disc-like tip. This stalk elongates, arching back to send its disc-like tip fusing into the stem of the host plant to become the haustorium. When the haustorium is firmly attached, the seed is lifted off, the seed coat shrivels and drops off to reveal the first pair of leaves, the cotyledons! The shoot then elongates, giving rise to further pairs of leaves.

Note: This plant is a tropical mistletoe, a semi-parasite that grows on the branches of many wayside trees and ornamental plants. Please see our earlier postings on the plants, seeds and germination and accounts by a naturalist and a sometime bird watcher.

Text and images by Angie Ng

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

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