TODAY, as everyone knows, mistletoe is a seasonal excuse to
steal a quick kiss from a loved one. With Christmas around the
corner you should be able to buy it in any good florists or
Mistletoe is a fascinating plant, a friend to
lovers and a gentle encouragement for a festive kiss, but more
sinisterly, it is an evergreen parasite, rooting under the bark
of host trees and stealing their nourishment.
Mistletoe makes itself at home on 17 different
kinds of tree, including the ash, willow, popular, hazel and
apple trees. It is most visible when the trees are bare.
female flowers appear in summer and produce the green berries,
which gradually turn white with frost in December.
They do not totally ripen until February and only
then should the berries be smeared on soft bark or into cracks
and crevices of a tree to propagate the plant. Birds are experts
at dispersing the seed. A wise mistletoe grower takes care never
to pull too much from a plant and leaves something for the birds
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all
the readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.