What Is Mistletoe and How Does It Grow? Mistletoe is an evergreenplant with leather like leaves and white, waxyberries. The plant’s flowerscan be a wide variety of colors, from bright red to yellow to green. It does not grow from the ground, but is a parasitethat grows from a “sucker root” on the branches of other trees.
Although it is parasitic, it will not kill the host tree but can weaken it. Mistletoe produces its own food by photosynthesis, and is able to live on its own, although it is mostly found in trees. It’s common for a mistletoe plant to grow on top of another mistletoe plant.
Birdseat the white berries, and then wipe their bills on tree branches to get rid of the sticky seeds. The seedsstick to the bark of the tree and grow into new mistletoe plants.
The berries are poisonousto humans. If you have mistletoe in your house this holiday season, be sure that it is in a place where children and pets won’t be able to get to it.
Mistletoe is best known as a Christmasdecoration. Hanging up mistletoe at Christmastimeis an old custom-anyone standing under it may be kissed.
According to the tradition, it’s bad luck to refuse a kiss beneath the mistletoe. After the kiss, the couple is to pluck one of the berries from the plant.
Content for this question contributed by Denise Bradley, resident of Linden, southeastern Union County, New Jersey, USA