Osyris alba Linnaeus, 1753
Common names: Osyris [En], Rouvet blanc, Osyris blanc [Fr], Ginestrella comune [It], Guardalobo [Es], Σκουπόχορτο [Gr], Belh soğüdü, Süpürge çalısı [Tu]
Ille-sur-Têt, PYRÉNNÉES ORIENTALES ● France
Description: Osyris alba is a semi-parasitic (hemiparasitic) broom-like shrub reaching 30–150 centimetres (12–59 in) in height. The stem is woody, brown or dark green, sometimes creeping on the ground. This plant has numerous longitudinally striated branches, green when young. The leaves are linear, lanceolate, coriaceous, persistent, although sometimes deciduous. They are about 15–35 millimetres (0.59–1.4 in) long and 1–5 millimetres (0.039–0.20 in) wide. They are produced during the winter while in summer they are almost totally absent. The flowers are hermaphroditic or unisexual, in the latter case, the male and female flowers show differences associated with the timing of pollination. They are very small (1 or 2 mm), with four yellow-green tepals and four stamens. The fruits are small red fleshy drupes, 4–6 millimetres (0.16–0.24 in) in diameter. Their roots form haustoria that tap into the roots of nearby plants and extract their sap.
Biology: Flowering period extends from March and June.
Habitat: This xerophilous species lives in arid and semi-desert areas, in sunny areas at altitudes of between 0–1,110 metres (0–3,640 ft) above sea level. In favorable climates it can also push up to 1,800 metres (5,900 ft).
Distribution: All countries of the Mediterranean basin, from southern Portugal to Turkey. It is present in western Asia and in North Africa from Morocco to Tunisia and Libya.
Usage: Ses branches sont utilisées depuis des siècles par les peuples de Méditerranée pour fabriquer des balais.
Wikipedia, Osyris alba