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A family of dicotyledonous terrestrial plants in the order Santalales characterized by dry nutlike fruit, one to five ovules, unisexual flowers, attachment to the stem of the host, and the lack of chlorophyll.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a family of herbaceous dicotyledonous plants. They are parasites, more or less lacking chlorophyll and settling on the roots of trees. The underground part of this plant is a tuber-like, branching rhizome which sits on the roots of the host plant. The flower clusters which form on the rhizome are frequently brightly colored, and they extend above the surface of the soil at the ends of short fleshy stems covered with scalelike leaves. The flowers are small and unisexual, with a reduced calyx. The pistillate flowers are without a perianth, and the staminal flowers usually have a corolla. The fruit is nutlike or drupaceous. There are 18 genera (110 species) of mono- or dioecious plants, mainly in the rain forests of the tropics, and less often in the subtropics. The rhizomes of the genera Balano-phora (12 species in the tropics of Asia and Australia) and Langsdorffia (one species in tropical America) are rich in a waxlike resin, balanophorin; they are used in their native regions as candles. In the rhizome of Lophophytum mirabile (South America) there is a great deal of starch, lophophyton, and other substances which are used in medicine.


Takhtadzhian, A. L. Sistema i filogeniia tsvetkovykh rastenii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966.
Terekhin, E. S., and M. S. lakovlev. “Embriologiia Balano phoraceae (K voprosu o gomologiiakh ‘tsvetka’ Balanophora). “Botanicheskii zhurnal, 1967, vol. 52, no. 6.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
saxicola Rosenstock 14 Aspidiaceae Ataxipteris dianguiensis W.M.Chu & H.G.Zhou 15 Balanophoraceae Balanophora saxicola Xing et Z.
Thonningia sanguinea Vahl Balanophoraceae JS 296 Trichilia monadelpha Meliaceae JS 260 (Thonn.) J.
Repin 2003 The Genus Balanophora (Balanophoraceae) in Sabah, Malaysia.
The many plants eaten include the Malta mushroom (not a fungus, but the parasite Cynomorium coccineum, Balanophoraceae), which is greatly appreciated as a condiment.
Salicaceae to Balanophoraceae. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Anos mas tarde, Eichler (1872) propuso para la familia Balanophoraceae el genero Bdallophytum con dos especies (B.
Mysticina tuberculata pollinates the flower of Dactylanthus taylorii (Balanophoraceae), a nonphotosynthetic root parasite of trees and shrubs, that is the only plant in the world pollinated by a walking bat.
The chapter is replete with factual errors such as incorrect estimates of numbers of species and genera for Balanophoraceae, Loranthaceae, and Olacaceae.