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Genus of the Week

Week of Feb. 16-22

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This page has been created for people who want to learn more about plants, especially in the context of their taxonomy (Latin names, etc.). This is by no means an exhaustive list of all available Web resources on a particular genus.

This week's genus:


Photo of Comandra umbellata inflorescence
Comandra umbellata
Photo taken by J. Forman.
May not be used without permission.
Subclass: Dicotyledoneae
Superorder: Rosidae
Order: Santalales
Family: Santalaceae; The Sandalwoods
Number of Species:at least 2
Greek Root: "come" - meaning hair, and "andros" - meaning male; in reference to the "hairy attachment of the anthers to the sepals" (Audubon Guide)

The genus Comandra can be labeled semiparasitic, i.e. species have photosynthetic ability yet also have parasitic tendencies, deriving some nutrients by connecting its roots with those of nearby trees or shrubs. Their common names (Bastard Toadflax, False Toadflax) is a reference to the resemblance of the stem and leaves to those of the Toadflaxes (Genus Linaria), members of the Snapdragon Family.

Here are a few links to images and descriptions of different Comandra species:


  1. Forey, Pamela. Wild Flowers of North America. New York, Gallery Books: 1991.
  2. Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
  3. Neiring, William A. and Nancy C. Olmstead., eds. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region. Alfred A. Knopf, New York: 1979.

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