nPhoradendronany of various American parasitic plants similar to Old World mistletoe: false mistletoe
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
nphoradendronA genus of apetalous plants, the American mistletoes, of the order Loranthaceæ and tribe Visceæ, characterized by the erect anthers subsessile on the base of the calyx-lobes, vertically two-celled and opening by a longitudinal Slit. The 80 species are all American, widely scattered through the warmer regions, extending into the United States to New Jersey, and especially found in the west, and southward into the Argentine Republic. They are shrubby yellowish-green parasites, generally with abundant short much-jointed branches, flat opposite thickish leaves, and terminal or axillary jointed spikes of small sessile and immersed flowers in several or many rows. P. flavescens extends north to New Jersey, on various trees, especially the sour-gum (Nyssa sylvatica), and is often destructive to the tree, as in cases of growth on elms, hickories, and wild cherries. (See mistletoe, 2.) It is used as a substitute for the European mistletoe.
Phoradendron, the scientific name for this parasitic plant, means tree thief.