Cytinus hypocistis L. subsp. macranthus, Wettst.
One of the most extreme manifestations of parasitism is found in the families of endoparasites Rafflesiaceae, Mitrastemonaceae, Apodanthaceae and Cytinaceae. These perennial plants, without chlorophyll, are obligate parasites, and depend on their hosts to obtain water and nutrients (Kuijt, 1969). All show a reduction in their morphological characters, with scale-like leaves and absence of external roots, and their vegetative body is reduced to a haustorial or endophytic system, often compared with that of a fungal plectenchyme. These endophytes live within the roots or stems of their hosts (Kuijt, 1969; Meijer, 1993), and emerge from the hosts only during the reproductive period, when the inflorescences arise. Because of this characteristic lifestyle, these endophytic holoparasites were long considered to constitute a single family, the Rafflesiaceae. However, differences in the morphology of flowers, ovaries and seeds, together with data from recent molecular phylogenetic studies, indicate that they are dis- tinct families, even belonging to different orders (Bouman and Meijer, 1994; Barkman et al., 2004; Nickrent et al., 2004; Davis et al., 2007).
''Cytinus hypocistis'' is an ant-pollinated species of parasitic plant in the family Cytinaceae having four subspecies. It is found primarily in locations that surround the Mediterranean Sea, and is the type for the genus ''Cytinus''. The binomial has been conserved.
"One of the most extreme manifestations of parasitism is found in the families of endoparasites Rafflesiaceae, Mitrastemonaceae, Apodanthaceae and Cytinaceae. These perennial plants, without chlorophyll, are obligate parasites,.. more