Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland




Time of the year when we think of mistletoe

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 garden centre.

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.

The 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 to enjoy.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.