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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Cytinus

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid II > Order: Malvales > Family: Cytinaceae

Cytinus is a genus of holoparasitic plants. The plants have no chlorophyll but instead attach modified roots called "haustoria" to the roots of other plants and extract water and nutrients from the host. The plants' body is much reduced and consists mainly of the inflorescence. There are about six species, occurring in the Mediterranean region, Africa and Madagascar, with three species native to southern Africa. All South African Cytinus species are dioecious, producing separate male and female plants. The genus was previously placed in the Rafflesiaceae.

Species native to southern Africa

Cytinus capensis

Cytinus capensis produces small, dark-maroon flowers that smell intensely of vanilla and are pollinated by mice, which visit the flowers to drink nectar.

Cytinus sanguineus

Cytinus visseri