Parasitical shrubs, many of the tropical species with brilliantly-coloured flowers. Leaves simple, entire, opposite or alternate, fleshy or coriaceous, veins immersed. Flowers hermaphrodite or unisexual. Perianth of 4 or more free or united segments, with as many stamens as segments, and opposite to them. Fruit baccate, inferior, succulent, 1-celled, 1-seeded. There are 13 genera and about 450 species known, chiefly tropical, and more abundant in the temperate regions of the South than the North. The only indigenous species. Mistletoe, Viscum album, is perhaps more familiar than any other native plant to town-dwellers. The flowers are small, greenish yellow, unisexual, appearing in April or May. This plant is confined to England and Wales in the British Islands, Viscus or Viscum is the Latin for birdlime. The application will be apparent from the sticky nature of the berries.

Loranthus Europaeus is the only other member of this order occurring in Europe.