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Summary.Nuytsia floribunda (Labill.) R.Br. ex G.Don, a monotypic arborescent root hemiparasite endemic to the Southwest Australian Floristic Region, sister to all other showy mistletoes, is described and illustrated. A review is provided of its mythological and practical use by Noongar Aborigines, its discovery and early documentation by Europeans, and its phylogeny, biology, ecology and systematics. Experiences with its cultivation and propagation before and after it was discovered to be parasitic are discussed. Nuytsia provides a useful case study for testing many hypotheses developed in OCBIL theory, which aims to explain the evolution and ecology of, and best conservation practices for, biota on very old, climatically buffered, infertile landscapes (i.e. OCBILs), found especially in regions such as the Southwest Australian Floristic Region, the Greater Cape of South Africa and the Pantepui of Venezuela.