Mistletoe –

At Christmas time my mom hangs up mistletoe right over the kitchen door.  She stands there so every time my Dad or I pass, she kisses us.  But my Dad and I just punch each other when we get near it.

Mistletoe grows in the wild by attaching itself to another plant or tree and stealing some of its food, water and energy.  The plant it lives on is called a “host” plant.  This mistletoe is growing on a big mesquite tree.  Mistletoe is considered a parasite, not much different than a tick or a flea on a dog.  If too many parasites get on a host they can kill it.

It is easy to confuse mistletoe and holly, since they are both decorative berries used at Christmas.  Holly has red berries and darker leaves, and mistletoe has white berries and lighter leaves.  Mistletoe can grow about anywhere, as long as it has somebody else’s roots to borrow.

Merry Christmas!

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