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Botanical Sciences

On-line version ISSN 2007-4476Print version ISSN 2007-4298


GALVAN-GONZALEZ, Luis Gil et al. Diversity and richness of parasitic plants in Morelos State, Mexico. Bot. sci [online]. 2022, vol.100, n.3, pp.729-747.  Epub May 16, 2022. ISSN 2007-4476.


Parasitic angiosperms obtain water or nutrients from a host. They are considered holoparasites if they obtain water and photosynthates, or hemiparasites if they obtain water and minerals. Hemipararasitic plants are divided into obligate parasites if they depend on the host during their entire life cycle; or facultative if they do not require the host to survive. Obligate hemiparasites include to mistletoes, which can also parasitize other mistletoes, thus being epiparasitic plants. For Mexico 14 families, 41 genera and 411 species of parasitic plants are considered.


What is the diversity of parasitic angiosperms in Morelos?

Studied species:

Parasitic angiosperms.

Study site and dates:

Morelos state, Mexico.


We reviewed 650 herbarium specimens from nine herbaria (ENCB, FCME, HUAP, HUMO, IEB, MEXU, RSA, UAMIZ, XAL) and 15 digital collections (ARIZ, ASU, CM, COLO, F, GH, IND, LL, MO, NMC, NY, RM, UCR, UTC, TEX). A total of 178 specimens were collected in nineteen municipalities. The names of each taxon were validated in Tropicos, The Plant List, and International Plant Names Index.


Eleven families, 22 genera, 60 species of parasitic plants were recorded in Morelos. Of total, 14 species are holoparasites, and 19 are facultative hemiparasites and 27 are obligate hemiparasites. Ten species of epiparasitic mistletoes were reported, with five new records of previously undocumented interactions.


Parasitic plants represent 1.69 % of angiosperm richness in Morelos, 24 species are endemic to Mexico. The greatest diversity is found in the Natural Protected Areas.

Keywords : Epiparasites; Floristic; Hemiparasites; Holoparasites; Mistletoes.

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