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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- A tribe of apetalous parasitic plants, constituting with the smaller tribe Hydnoreæ the order Cytinaceæ. It is characterized by the presence of scattered or imbricated scales in place of leaves, and flowers with from four to ten usually imbricated calyx-lobes, the anthers forming one, two, or three circles about a column in the center of the staminate flower, and the one or many stigmas terminating a similar column in the pistillate flower. It includes about 21 species in 5 genera, scattered through warm climates, and extending into the Mediterranean region, South Africa, and Mexico. All are indwelling parasites, issuing out of the roots or branches of various trees and shrubs. They vary in habit, having in Cytinus a colored fleshy and distinct stem and many-flowered spike, while in the other genera the whole plant consists of a single flower sessile on its embedded rhizome. They range from a minute size in Apodanthes and large in other genera to the monster flower of Rafflesia, the type. The plants are called
patma-wortsby some botanists.
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