Loranthus is a genus of parasitic plants that grow on the branches of woody trees. These plants grows strongly on ageing trees particularly somewhere in the middle of old branches. Once established, it steals minerals and water, as well as block sunlight by covering the encroached place .
Misunderstood as parasitic plants mistletoes Loranthus sp actually have a degree of ecological importance for it is an ecological keystone species (Watson, 2001).
A study of mistletoe in junipers concluded that more juniper berries sprout in stands where mistletoe is present, as the mistletoe attracts berry-eating birds which also eat juniper berries. Such interactions lead to dramatic influences on diversity, as areas with greater mistletoe densities support higher diversities of animals. Thus, rather than being a pest, mistletoe can have a positive effect on biodiversity, providing high quality food and habitat for a broad range of animals in forests and woodlands worldwide.
Dendrophthoe falcata possesses remarkable potentials as a medicinal plant evident from the wound healing, anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, antinociceptive properties.
The flowers of Dendrophthoe falcata are pollinated by the pale billed flowerpecker . The flower has a mechanism that causes pollen to explosively spray on the plumage of the visiting bird.
There is one tree Purpurea Bahunia from where I source the loranthus leaves to feed Common jezebel and Royal peacock caterpillars .I searched in and around Indiranagar for this plant but could not find ,most probably it was not there or it was hidden in the canopy.
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