Table 1 Mistletoes in Argentina.

Loranthaceae D. Don

Eremolepidaceae Tiegh.

Viscaceae Miq.

Tripodanthus (Eichl.) Tiegh. (= Phrygillantus Eichl.)

Struthanthus Mart

Ligaria Tiegh. Tristerix Mart.

Psittacanthus Mart. Eubrachion Hook. f.

Phoradendron Nutt.

Trp. flagellaris (Cham, et Schlecht) Tiegh.

Trp. acutifolius (Ruiz et Pav.) Tiegh.

S. angustifolius (Griseb.) Haum.

S. acuminatus (Ruiz et Pav.) Blume S. uraguensis (Hook, et Arn.) G. Don

L. cuneifolia (Ruiz et Pav.) Tiegh

Trx. corymbosus (L.) Kuijt Trx. verticillatus (Ruiz et Pav.)Barlow et Wiens

P. cordatus (Hoffmans) Blume

E. ambiguum ( A.) Engler (= E. andalgalense Abbiatti)

Ph. pruinosum Urb.

Ph. acinacifolium Mart.

Ph. acinacifolium Mart.

Ph. salicifolium (Preol.) Eichl.

Ph. hieronymi Trel.

Ph. tucumanense Urb.

Ph. falcifrons (Hook, et Arn.) Eichl.

Ph. subfalcatum Abbiatti

Ph. dipterum EicM.

Ph. quadrangulare (Kunth) Griseb.

in the south of Brazil for the treatment of lumbar aches and pneumonia. The Wichi (native Amerindians from the Northeast of Argentina) make amulets and ritual objets with Ph. liga, Ph. hieronymi and Trp. flagellaris (Martinez-Crovetto, 1964).

European migrants and descendants, according to both morphologic and habitat similarities, chose L. cuneifolia var. cuneifolia as the natural substitute for the European mistletoe (Viscum album L.). Infusions of leaves and stems have thus been used for their putative ability to decrease high blood pressure. This species is the most widely used mistletoe in the country and is popularly known as "liga", "liguilla" or "muérdago criollo" (Argentine mistletoe).


Ligaría cuneifolia var. cuneifolia (=Psittacanthus cuneifolius (Ruiz et Pavon) Blume) (Figure 1)

Geographic Distribution

This South American species is found in Perú, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Uruguay. It is the most widespread in Argentina and its habitat extends from Salta and Jujuy in the North to La Pampa in the South, and from Entre Ríos and Northeast Buenos Aires to the Andean foothills in the West.

Host Trees

L. cuneifolia grows mainly on leguminous trees as Gourliea, Piptadenia, Prosopis and Acacia species, but can also be found on Celtis (Ulmaceae), Schinus

Figure 1 Ligaria cuneifolia var. cuneifolia. Ligaria cuneifolia with a red flower found in central and western Argentina (upper right—Ligaria cuneifolia var. cuneifolia) and with a more orange/ yellow colour in the east of the country (lower right—Ligaria cuneifolia var. flava).

(Anacardiaceae), Bulnesia, Schinopsis (Anacardiaceae) and Ephedra (Ephedraceae). Among cultivated plants it parasites Pyrus malus, P. communis, Prunus sp. (Rosaceae) and Robinia (Leguminosae).

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