mistletoe leaves and berries
Plants Index

Phoradendron sp.

'Tis the season to be kissing! Mistletoe is a semi-parasitic plant that grows on tree trunks or branches and sends out roots that penetrate trees and take up nutrients. Mistletoe is spread by bird droppings that contain the seeds, hence the Anglo-Saxon translation of the word to "dung-on-a-twig." Though little known, there is kissing and mistletoe etiquette: you should pluck a berry when you steal a kiss under the mistletoe, and when the berries are gone, no more kissing!

back to Nature Notebook

mistletoe on swamp tupelo tree
Mistletoe on swamp tupelo tree
photos: Mike Dunn
Home divider
Home What's New? Visitor Info Calendar Exhibits
  Education Research Museum Store Join Us!
Search Fun Stuff Site Map Staff Directory Links
       © 2002 NCMNS                     11 W. Jones St. Raleigh, NC 27601      919.733.7450   In NC 877.4NATSCI      Email