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Fam.: Balanophoraceae / Cynomorium Fam.      

Genus:  Cynomorium  L.
 

Authors:
   L.:  Carl von Linné (Linnaeus, 1707 - 1777), Swedish naturalist who introduced the binary naming system for plants and animals
 

Etymology:
   Cynomorium:   kynomorion = dog's penis
   coccineum:   scarlet red
 

The Maltese Fungus is no fungus but a plant, and occurs in Europe mainly at the Mediterranean coasts. It is sponging the roots of various salt-tolerant plants, e.g. of genus Atriplex, Suaeda, Salsola, and Tamarix. It has no chlorophyll. Different scientists are discordant on its position in the botanical systematics, but in every case it is more primitive than the Orobanche and to be classified far in front of these.

 

Cynomorium coccineum / Maltese Fungus, Desert Thumb, Sicily Trapani 21.4.2016 (Photo: Uwe & Katja Grabner)
Fig. 1:  Cynomorium coccineum / Maltese Fungus, Desert Thumb (on Suaeda maritima)
Sicily, Trapani 21.4.2016 (Photo: Uwe & Katja Grabner)
Cynomorium coccineum / Maltese Fungus, Desert Thumb, Sicily Trapani 21.4.2016 (Photo: Uwe & Katja Grabner)
Fig. 2:  Cynomorium coccineum / Maltese Fungus, Desert Thumb (on Suaeda maritima)
Sicily, Trapani 21.4.2016 (Photo: Uwe & Katja Grabner)
Cynomorium coccineum / Maltese Fungus, Desert Thumb, Sicily Trapani 21.4.2016 (Photo: Uwe & Katja Grabner)
Fig. 3:  Cynomorium coccineum / Maltese Fungus, Desert Thumb (on Suaeda maritima)
Sicily, Trapani 21.4.2016 (Photo: Uwe & Katja Grabner)
Cynomorium coccineum / Maltese Fungus, Desert Thumb, Sicily Trapani 21.4.2016 (Photo: Uwe & Katja Grabner)
Fig. 4:  Cynomorium coccineum / Maltese Fungus, Desert Thumb (on Suaeda maritima)
Sicily, Trapani 21.4.2016 (Photo: Uwe & Katja Grabner)
Cynomorium coccineum / Maltese Fungus, Desert Thumb, Sicily Trapani 21.4.2016 (Photo: Uwe & Katja Grabner)
Fig. 5:  Cynomorium coccineum / Maltese Fungus, Desert Thumb (on Suaeda maritima)
Sicily, Trapani 21.4.2016 (Photo: Uwe & Katja Grabner)

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