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Other Names

Witches Brooms

Mistletoe Plants

Mistletoe plants are hemi-parasitic plants. They live on a host tree and use the host as a food source, but also use photosynthesis from their own leaves. Mistletoe plants include five separate families of hundreds of species: Eremolepidaceae, Loranthaceae, Misodendraceae, Santalaceae and Viscaceae. Subtropical and tropical climates have more Mistletoe species.

Grow Mistletoe

Mistletoe grows from birds eating the berries and passing the seeds along in their droppings. The seeds are coated with a sticky material called viscin, which hardens and attaches the seed firmly to its future host. As the mistletoe plants mature, they grow into masses of branching stems.

Mistletoe Uses

For a long time Mistletoe was often considered a pest that kills trees. Many wild animals actually depend on mistletoe for food, consuming the leaves and young shoots. Areas with greater mistletoe densities can support higher diversities of animals. Mistletoe is used for roosting and nesting by the northern spotted owl and the marbled murrelet. Mistletoe can have a positive effect on biodiversity, providing high quality food and habitat. Mistletoe is commonly used in Christmas decorations.

Mistletoe Facts

Mistletoe is the floral emblem of Oklahoma. A study of mistletoe in junipers concluded that more juniper berries sprout in stands where mistletoe is present. The dense evergreen branches of Mistletoe are commonly called Witches' Brooms.

Mistletoe Farms

It may be possible to find any mistletoe farms near your location. We have built a map that will show all of the berry farms in our directory!

Mistletoe Stories

Call for artists: Mistletoe and Holly Artisan Sale
SOUTH BERWICK - Historic New England invites artisans and artists to apply to the Mistletoe and Holly Artisan Sale, a juried sale, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., on three weekends, Friday-Sunday, November 17-19, 24-26, and December 1-3, at Sarah Orne Jewett ... [ story ]

City Council rejects plan for historic district on Mistletoe in Tobin Hill
A divisive proposal to create a historic district on East Mistletoe Avenue, a quiet residential street in Tobin Hill, was voted down by City Council on Thursday after an effort at compromise failed. The street's residents and property owners spent more ... [ story ]

Under the mistletoe: How a little bird's love for a parasitic plant could save the world's forests
The mistletoe is one of those little plants you hardly notice in the rainforest. It perches on branches of trees like a sea fan on a coral boulder, or like the Christmas decoration with which it shares its name. At first glance, it seems like another ... [ story ]

Photo - Joseph A. Marcus - Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - University of Texas - Austin, Texas
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