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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Ordo: Santalales

Familia: Loranthaceae
Tribus: Lorantheae
Subtribus: Tapinanthinae
Genus: Actinanthella
Species: A. menyharthii – A. wyliei
Source(s) of checklist:

Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Actinanthella in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Nov 23. Reference page.

Name

Actinanthella Balle Bull. Seanc. Acad. Roy. Sci. Col., Brux. xxv. 1625 (1954)

Type species Actinanthella menyharthii (Engl. & Schinz) Balle Bull. Seanc. Acad. Roy. Sci. Col., Brux. xxv. 1625 (1954)

References
Primary references

Balle, S. 1954. Sur quelques Loranthoïdées d’Afrique, Academie Royale des Sciences Coloniales: Bulletin des Seances, Bruxelles, xxv. 1619-1635. pdfReference page. (p.1625.)

Links

International Plant Names Index. 2018. Actinanthella. Published online. Accessed: 8 February 2018.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2018. Actinanthella in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 8 February 2018.
GBIF: Actinanthella
Nickrent, D.L. 2018. The parasitic plant connection websiteː Actinanthella. Accessed 20 February 2018

Actinanthella is a small genus of hemiparasitic shrubs in the Loranthaceae family. They are found in Sub-Saharan Africa, specifically in Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.[1]

Taxonomy

There are two species in the genus:[1]

Actinanthella menyharthii (Engl. & Schinz) Balle
Actinanthella wyliei (Sprague) Wiens

Description

The species in the genus are small hemiparasitic shrubs with simple or forked hairs and a single haustorial attachment. They have 1-3 flowers which are borne in the axils, and bracts are cup-shaped with a small limb. The petal structure is tubular below, with radially arranged lobes that first spread and are later reflexed. The tube itself has basal swelling, and is constricted and narrowly funnel-shaped above. The filaments are erect, with the upper part thickened and coiling at the ends. The berry of the plants are shaped narrowly obovoid.[2][3]

Ecology

The recorded host plants of Actinanthella are Erythroxylum, Boscia, and Olea.[4]

Like several other African genera of hemiparasitic shrubs, Actinanthella is extremely specialized for pollination. Not only do their petals change coloration once mature to attract pollinators, but their corollas also split to form an opening through which sunbirds can insert their beaks. When that happens, a rapid response triggers, opening the flower and depositing pollen on the pollinator's head.[5]

References

"Actinanthella Balle". Plants of the World Online. Retrieved 2020-12-11.
"Flora of Mozambique: Genus page: Actinanthella". www.mozambiqueflora.com. Retrieved 2020-12-11.
"Flora of Zimbabwe: Genus page: Actinanthella". www.zimbabweflora.co.zw. Retrieved 2020-12-13.
Grímsson, Friðgeir; Xafis, Alexandros; Neumann, Frank H.; Scott, Louis; Bamford, Marion K.; Zetter, Reinhard (2018-07-04). "The first Loranthaceae fossils from Africa". Grana. 57 (4): 249–259. doi:10.1080/00173134.2018.1430167. ISSN 0017-3134. PMC 5940175. PMID 29780299.
Vidal-Russell, Romina; Nickrent, Daniel L. (2008). "Evolutionary relationships in the showy mistletoe family (Loranthaceae)". American Journal of Botany. 95 (8): 1015–1029. doi:10.3732/ajb.0800085. ISSN 0002-9122. PMID 21632422.

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