Did you know...
Mistletoe grows in the branches of trees – such as lime, poplar, hawthorn and, predominantly, cultivated apple. It never grows in the ground.
2. From the sun and trees
It is semi-parasitic. Like many plants, it produces its own food using photosynthesis, but it also extracts minerals and water from a host tree.
The plant is most abundant in the south and west Midlands and east Wales.
4. Deceptively dangerous
It contains a poisonous protein called phoratoxin – if consumed, it can cause drowsiness, blurred vision, diarrhoea, vomiting and seizures.
There are up to 1,500 species of mistletoe around the world. For many of us, the most familiar is European mistletoe (Viscum album) – we use this to decorate our homes at Christmas.
Loving the mistletoe? Why not make your own mistletoe and holly block-print cards – the perfect Christmas gift.
Main image ©Getty
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