Cytinus is a genus of parasitic flowering plants. Its species do not produce chlorophyll any more, but rely fully on its host plant. Cytinus only parasitizes Cistus and Halimium, two genera of plants in the Cistaceae family.
Several species are found in the Mediterranean Region, South Africa, with a possibly undescribed species from Madagascar.
and C. sanguineus
, while C. hypocistis
C. hypocistis has been shown to infect mainly Halimium halimifolium and Cistus monspeliensis in Portugal.
The genus Cytinus
was previously included in the parasitic family Rafflesiaceae
, but is now put into the family Cytinaceae
), together with the genus Bdallophytum
with four species.
Cytinus ruber is no longer considered a separate species, but is now a subspecies of C. hypocistis.
The young C. hypocistis is cooked as an Asparagus substitute, and an extract has been used in treating dysentery, throat tumors and as an astringent. C. ruber is also edible, and was used in folk medicine as an emmenagogue.
- (2004): Phylogenetic inference in Rafflesiales: the influence of rate heterogeneity and horizontal gene transfer. BMC Evolutionary Biology 4: 40.
- (2007): Host Specificity in the Parasitic Plant Cytinus hypocistis. Research Letters in Ecology. (with link to full text PDF)
- (2006): A new species of Cytinus (Cytinaceae) from South Africa and Swaziland, with a key to the Southern African species. Novon 16(3): 315-319. Abstract