Mistletoe is a perennial flowering plant that is parasitic on woody trees and shrubs when it is above ground. The plant has specialized roots that can penetrate the host plant. From the host plant is gets it water and nutrients.  Mistletoe has thick green evergreen leaves and white berries. Each berry contains a sticky seed that attaches to birds and mammals and is taken to a new growing site. The ripe white berries of dwarf mistletoe, native to the western United States and Canada, can explode, ejecting seeds and scattering them as far as 50 feet. As mistletoe matures, they grow thicker and become rounded masses of branches and stems which look like baskets, sometimes referred to as “witches’ brooms”. They can reach up to 5 feet wide and weigh up to 50 pounds. There are more than 100 species that grow around the world. Mistletoe’s common name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon words for ‘dung’ (mistel) and ‘twig’ (tan) because of the ancient belief that mistletoe was propagated from bird droppings because plants would often appear on a branch or twig where birds had left droppings. In the sixteenth century, botanists found that mistletoe was spread by seeds that came from the digestive tract of birds after they ate berries. Mistletoe grows on willow, apple, and oak trees. It is said the tradition of hanging mistletoe in the home goes back to the ancient Druids. It is also believed the plant has mystical powers that bring good luck to the household and ward off evil spirits. The custom of kissing under mistletoe started in England and represents peace and romance. The plant has also been used as an herbal medicine for hundreds of years. 

Leave a Comment:

  • gslotnick@yahoo.com Sep 28

    Is this a perennial? Thanks!

    It is a groundcover rose shrub that is hardy for zones 4 - 11. It does come back every year and is winter hardy.

  • mmsimpson1@insightbb.com Feb 22

    What zones can the California Lilac grow in. I live in zone 6, Kentucky. Thank you for helping me.

    The hardiness zones for this plant are 8 - 10.  There are different types of this plant so there might be one that works for you.  Here is more information.

  • rabisaqib88@gmail.com Mar 15

    I found this article worth reading.it really enhanced my knowledge. Thank you for sharing such an amazing content.

    Thank you for your kind comment.

  • vs@abanahomes.com May 03

    Not sure if this is the correct place to ask, but you seem to be knowledgable about the flowering plants.

    Most likely these two plants Lily of the valley and this flowering bonsai tree may share the same chemistry.

    Which fertilizer / condition do you recommend to bloom a flowering plant more? 

    Lily of the valley typically doesn’t need any fertilizer unless you have poor soil. If your soil lacks nutrients, you can add a slow-release granular fertilizer in the spring. For Bonsai plants, there is usually specific fertilizer for those plants.

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