Mistletoe

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

It was during December I expressed frustration that despite looking high and low we simply could not find any mistletoe growing that we could forage. Aside from a couple of trees heaving with mistletoe on most definitely private land we hadn't found a single frond. Sadly, I had to pop into the florists to buy a bunch. Much as I'd like to offer them more frequent custom - oh WOW flowers are expensive from there. The pot of 3 hyacinths is £4 whereas Tesco's is £2. I bought a pot from Tesco at the weekend and although felt guilty to have not shopped local it would have been double the price. It's the lean winter time when I yearn for fresh flowers to bring into the house and it's been months since anything floral has bloomed* so I caved and bought hyacinths. The good thing about bulbs in a pot is you just re-home them in the garden when they're done and they'll re-emerge year after year.
*I had forgotten the amaryllis that's just about to erupt. Shhhh.
I digressed. Back to mistletoe. On a new walk we planned, somewhere we've never been before, it just so happened that some of the trees were FULL of mistletoe! How unexpected! Great news for next year though, I'll just bring a pair of snips for a little bunch to hang up*
*and remain utterly purposeless as C will get his ritual Christmas cough/cold/sore throat and I will glare at him for being so germ-ridden.
Have you ever seen so much in one go?!
Mistletoe is a parasite which grows on a selection of trees. You can see that the branch bulges where the mistletoe has grown. Apparently, research suggests that the parasite does no harm to the host tree. I wonder if it is ok though? Clearly the parasite leeches off nutrients and water from the tree although perhaps it's so negligible the tree doesn't even notice.
There were hundreds of berries! The berries are poisonous. I've no idea why the plant has any connection to Christmas kisses.



I'm so glad to have found such a huge lot of this interesting plant.
Take care,
Sophie

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2 comments

  1. Ooh, it looks so attractive in your pictures- so much of it!!! I DID giggle at your crossness at C and his annual cold! My C is also extremely grumpy like that!

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  2. It looks like some of it is close(ish) to the ground too, which is unusual. I wonder what the origins of mistletoe and Christmas are? I'm off to Google it...
    xx

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