All genera in the mistletoe family Viscaceae develop a secondary protective covering, the cuticular epithelium, that replaces the epidermis. The cuticular epithelium also occurs in the Eremolepidaceae and some genera within the related family Santalaceae. This secondary covering, unlike the periderm, lacks lenticels or their functional equivalent. We suggest that the cuticular epithelium provides a greater degree of control over transpirational water loss in older plant parts. The cuticular epithelium may arise in the epidermis, subepidermal layer, or in deeper tissues of the stem. Bark strands of the endophytic system, where they are in contact with either nonliving host tissues or the external environment, also form a cuticular epithelium. The epidermal feature, stomatal orientation, was also studied. All genera in the Viscaceae and Eremolepidaceae have stomata with a transverse orientation. The presence or absence of a cuticular epithelium and stomatal orientation are vegetative characters with potential taxonomic value.