Mistletoe is the popular name for obligate hemi-parasitic species.
• These types of plants adhere to and permeate the branches of a tree or shrub by a framework referred to as the haustorium, by which they consume water and nutrition from the host plant.
• The name mistletoe was initially related to Viscum album (European mistletoe, of the family Santalaceae in the order Santalales), the only species indigenous in Great Britain and much of Europe.
• European mistletoe is easily identified by its smooth-edged oval evergreen leaves borne in sets along the woody stem, and also waxy white colored berries in thick clusters of 2 to 6.
• It is a toxic plant which causes severe gastrointestinal troubles which includes stomach pain and diarrhea along with low pulse.
• The genus Viscum is not indigenous to North America, but Viscum album happens to be introduced to California.
Other Mistletoe Groups
• Later on, the name mistletoe was even more extensive to other relevant species as well as families, such as Phoradendron serotinum, the eastern mistletoe of eastern North America.
• Eastern mistletoe is comparable to European mistletoe, but bears shorter, wider leaves and extended clusters of 10 or higher berries.
• The most significant family of mistletoes, Loranthaceae , possesses 73 genera and over 900 varieties.
• Subtropical and tropical environments have substantially a lot more mistletoe species.
Australia has 85 species.
– 71 are in Loranthaceae
– 14 in Santalaceae
Of these, the parasitic mistletoe behavior has developed independently 5 times:
Uses of Mistletoe
• Treating circulatory and respiratory system problems
• Treatment of cancer
Mistletoe extract is sold as:
• Christmas decoration
• Bird lime
• To begin with, you’ll need to get a cut of fresh mistletoe.
• Remember that “Christmastime” mistletoe is not the best time to get a cut.
• If it is the only time it is possible to secure your cut, however, detach the berries and keep them in region protected from the components, like a shed, until around the midst of February.
• If you are prepared to use them, they can be re-hydrated by submersing them in water for a couple of hours.
• You have to then choose a “host” tree.
• The best choice is going to be an apple, poplar or lime tree.
• Numerous shrubs of the Rosaceae family work effectively.
• To grow mistletoe, either smears the fruits onto the branch of the selected tree or creates a slit in the bark and stuff the seeds out of the fruits into it, ensuring some of the sticky viscin remains with it.
• In case you use the smearing technique or the slitting one, you have to divide each seed by approximately 1.5 meters.
• Plant them up the tree, on the facet and/or under the branch.
• Ensure the branch is at the least twenty mm in diameter .
• If you decide to monitor the berries’ development more closely, you may mark each with a string so that you could locate them more readily.
• Grow just as many berries as possible, as you run the chance of many of them being consumed by wildlife.
• Also, considering having future berries, you will have a minimum of 2 mistletoe plants to cultivate.
• Mistletoe germination is likely to happen rapidly.
• You must notice section of the germinating seedling (referred to as a hypocotyl) emerge.
• This is the major organ of extension of the young plant.
• You will notice it begins to bend towards the bark in order to contact it.
• If the plants find a way to make a host link and tend not to die off from different elements, by the next February, you will possess your individual mistletoe plant.
• If you cut your mistletoe from the host tree, new plants will most likely sprout from the haustoria.
• As soon as it has started to grow, reduce each year to prevent it from developing too big and damaging the tree.