E.J.Wilkins

20 Dec 2008 1,104 views
 
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photoblog image Mistletoe

Mistletoe


Romsey mistletoe

A tree full of mistletoe growing in a garden close to a car park in Romsey.

Mistletoe (Viscum album) was the stuff of magic, because it seemed to appear from nowhere and, being evergreen, shows up brightly green against the bare branches of its host tree during the winter months.

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant, growing on a variety of trees. It seems to be species specific, so if a plant is growing on an apple tree its seeds will grow on other apple trees but not, as in this one, on a Poplar.

I've seen it growing in Apple, Hawthorns and Lime trees, this was the first time I had seen it in a Poplar.

Mistletoe can only reach a new tree with the help of birds. The berries are sticky, encouraging birds to wipe them off their beaks, and in so doing they push the seed into a crack in the tree's bark where it might germinate. Once a tree is 'infested' the plant regenerates itself by pushing out new plants.
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Mistletoe


Romsey mistletoe

A tree full of mistletoe growing in a garden close to a car park in Romsey.

Mistletoe (Viscum album) was the stuff of magic, because it seemed to appear from nowhere and, being evergreen, shows up brightly green against the bare branches of its host tree during the winter months.

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant, growing on a variety of trees. It seems to be species specific, so if a plant is growing on an apple tree its seeds will grow on other apple trees but not, as in this one, on a Poplar.

I've seen it growing in Apple, Hawthorns and Lime trees, this was the first time I had seen it in a Poplar.

Mistletoe can only reach a new tree with the help of birds. The berries are sticky, encouraging birds to wipe them off their beaks, and in so doing they push the seed into a crack in the tree's bark where it might germinate. Once a tree is 'infested' the plant regenerates itself by pushing out new plants.
.

comments (14)

  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 20 Dec 2008, 08:33
"a parasitic plant" yes, this was my first impression while feeling: "Oh poor tree!" -very interesting -as always- your exact informations!
Yesterday during our Christmas English lesson- party we get informed about all the "spiritual fruits" of Christmas" -as our teacher said- and all the wonderful customs connected with mistletoe and...- we love the "evergreen" during Christmas/wintertime (old pagan symbolism)too- as firtree ("Oh Tannebaum, oh Tannebaum, wie grün sind Deine Blätter...") and the smell of only a bit of wood in the living room is so beautiful! Now we'll ride to a farmer in order to buy a big freshly cut Nordmannfir!
EJWilkins: The next few pictures are of mistletoes growing on an apple tree in somebody's garden. They told me it's been there for at least 20 years, so maybe it doesn't do a huge amount of harm.
  • Alan
  • Southampton, on the sunny south coast of England
  • 20 Dec 2008, 09:12
The cloud provides a good background for the this. Not seen as much mistletoe as this before. I'm surprised that the local "travellers" have not climbed the tree and got it down!
EJWilkins: There's fair bit in Brockenhurst, growing in Lime trees, same nearer the coast. It only shows up in the winter because it's hidden by leaves in the summer
Interesting! Do you know if the Jew use it in some ceremony. Weddings?
EJWilkins: I'm really not sure, but as it's a northern European plant I'd doubt it. It was a sacred plant for the Druids.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 20 Dec 2008, 09:59
http://landscaping.about.com/cs/winterlandscaping1/a/mistletoe.htm
Albert, I don't knwo any Jewish relations to the mistletoe- although there are some similarities between Chanukka and Christmas!
EJWilkins: A lot of ceremonies coincide with the lengthening of the days after 21st December
  • anniedog
  • United Kingdom
  • 20 Dec 2008, 10:02
Isn't nature ingenious? This is probably a tree that is too difficult to climb otherwise it would all have gone by now!
Ingrid
EJWilkins: Nature is magical really, isn't it?
Quite interesting Ellie. I have always heard that a tree with mistletoe on it is a soon dead tree!
EJWilkins: It would be very silly for a parasite to kill the host, I've seen trees absolutely covered with the stuff and they've managed to survive for much more than 20 years - because they were clearly "infested" long before I first saw them. The ones with the most don't look too brilliant though wink
We were surprised by the amount of mistletoe there was in the Austrian direction. Unusual shot for over here.
EJWilkins: There's loads and loads of it round here, I'm surprised there isn't any further south and west
The first time we saw this stuff growing down near Herfeford a few years back it took a while to catch on what it is .
EJWilkins: I was amazed by the amount of it growing down here, and it does seem to appear from nowhere because it's almost invisible in the summer
  • Frida
  • Sweden
  • 20 Dec 2008, 12:33
It's the province flower of Västmanland in Sweden were I was born. I think it's quite beautiful.
EJWilkins: I had no idea of that Frida. I think it's beautiful too
You might be interested in the Tenbury Mistletoe festival which has a long tradition I believe

http://www.tenbury-mistletoe-festival.co.uk/
EJWilkins: Oooh, now that is interesting, thanks a million for that link Bill
It certainly is an incredible & unforgettable image Ellie
EJWilkins: I'm sure you recognise it wink
Interesting. I'm not sure I've ever seen it - but I've never gone looking.
Like very much this kind of picture ! Trees are so coplex ! A good one Ellie !
  • Annie
  • United Kingdom
  • 12 Feb 2009, 00:54
That is amazing Ellie, I have only seen it once in my lifetime, and that was on an old apple tree in Wales. I dident know that it grew on a variety of other trees as well ! you live and learn .

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sensitivity ISO400
focal length 39.0mm
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