Mistletoe has such a beautiful part of the holidays..kissing under the mistletoe..but in actuality, it’s a parasite. It’s spread through bird fecal and grows out of branches of trees. I had never seen it until we moved to Virginia. On my walks, I noticed clumps of green in the oak trees whose leaves had fallen.
Here, where I live, it has short, broad leaves and more extended clusters of 10 or more berries.
While I have noticed it on Oak trees, it grows on a range of host trees, reducing their growth and usually killing a portion of the branch it grows on. Standard trees are willow, apple, and oak.
During the holidays, our tradition of handing it in the house dates back to the time of ancient Druids, who believed it possessed mystical powers that bring good luck and host off evil spirits.
In Norse mythology, it’s a symbol of love and friendship, and where our custom comes of kissing under the Mistletoe. The original custom was a berry picked from the mistletoe sprig before kissing someone. Once all the berries are picked, there will not be any more kissing!
Did you know this about Mistletoe?