For many years now, every time I see mistletoe hanging-up around Christmas time I find it sort of humorous. Most people think of mistletoe as the "kissing" plant. While I also think of it as the "kissing" plant, I also think of its complex parasitic life-cycle. Yes, mistletoe is a parasite, and is pretty common in western forests and deserts.
|A clump of mistletoe growing in the center of a juniper tree.|
|Phainopepla, found to eat around 1100 mistletoe berries per day when berries were available.|
|Desert tree severely parasitized by mistletoe.|
So the next time you see mistletoe hanging in the doorway, wow your "kisser" with this knowledge and they may never look at mistletoe in the same way. They may not want to kiss you after their new found knowledge either though... But this may be a good thing...